Knowledge Base

YouTube Newswire – Eyewitness Video News Curated and Verified

What Is YouTube Newswire?

YouTube Newswire was recently launched by Google in June 2015 which will provide ‘a curated feed of the most newsworthy eyewitness videos of the day’. The service will cover both global and regional news and will be available online, on Twitter and by daily email newsletter. Videos will focus on news, weather and politics.

The motivation behind starting up YouTube Newswire was simple. There are massive amounts of videos posted to YouTube. This makes it difficult to tell if a specific video that you watch is legitimate or fake. YouTube has become the primary home of eyewitness news video so by providing a curated and verified feed, it makes YouTube more useful for people looking for accurate information. Also, it provides journalists with ‘safe’ videos related to breaking news around the world including eyewitness accounts, which they can rely on.


YouTube Newswire Main Page.jpg


How Is YouTube Verifying These News Videos?

YouTube has partnered with a social news agency startup called Storyful, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (owners of the USA’s Fox and the UK’s Sky). Storyful’s team of journalists will focus on discovering and verifying footage as authentic. Storyful has an extensive verification process that ensures the date, location and source are correctly identified. YouTube and Storyful have previously worked together on other YouTube channels including YouTube Politics, YouTube Human Rights Channel and Citizen Tube.


Storyful Logo.jpg


What Sort of Topics Can You Find on YouTube Newswire:

Some recent curated streams of videos on YouTube Newswire include:


  • Novak Djokovic winning Wimbledon
  • A rally for the Confederate flag in Northern Florida, USA
  • An Israeli soldier fatally shooting rock-hurling teen
  • Pope Francis ends South America tour
  • The Fate of Greece in Eurozone teeters on the brink
  • Deadly shootout erupts in South West Ukraine
  • Deadly explosion hits Cairo’s Italian consulate


YouTube Newswire Playlists.jpg


First Draft Coalition:

In addition to YouTube Newswire, YouTube is also teaming up with a group of social media journalism experts from Eyewitness Media Hub, Storyful, Bellingcat, Meedan, Emergent,, SAM Desk and Verification Junkie, to launch the First Draft Coalition. This website will train journalists and offer tools to help them determine the legitimacy of videos and the ethics of using them.


First Draft Coalition Logo.png

Personal Opinion:

My understanding of YouTube Newswire is that Google is trying to build a crowdsourced news site. So imagine a protest in the USA, similar to the ones in St Louis a few months back, or abroad in the Middle East. Regular people upload their video clips and pictures to YouTube, but Storyful verify the content as legitimate. For breaking news events where journalists have not yet reached the scene, this is an amazing opportunity for sharing first hand video evidence. I believe this site has the potential to be hugely popular in the future and to turn YouTube into a serious news source.

Many people are consuming less traditional news media and instead, they are going online to find their news, often at alternative sites such as Twitter, YouTube and independent news sites like Vice. Many people already post videos on YouTube that are news related, so YouTube Newswire seems like the logical next step to organise and verify these video clips, into an authentic and reliable news media outlet.


Feedback From The giffgaff Community:

Have you heard of YouTube Newswire? Have you ever gone to YouTube to search for videos on breaking news? Do you like the idea of YouTube and its partner Storyful aggregating and verifying user filmed videos as legitimate? Do you think that YouTube Newswire could become a more mainstream news outlet in the future?

Thanks for reading!

Jeff Elephant

You can read more about me here and my favourite apps here

head honcho

Hopefully this won't encourage the behaviour seen at Shoreham last week. Many people were seen to be filming victims instead of trying to help them. Smiley Frustrated

It's a cool idea and a good way to get unfiltered news. But (and there's always a but) three words spring to mind, Standard Youtube License.

I think this site has a lot of potential as reporters are often late to the scene of breaking news. This way you get first hand information that is unbiased (compared to news companies which are often biased!).

Sounds pretty decent. I have to admit I only ever look online for news - hardly use the traditional methods. It's good that news will be validated because some people believe everything they read or hear. This could be good... Possibly.

I've just been having a nosey at Newswire and what it's missing that you get from news outlets, biased or not, is any context at all to the videos. For instance there's a video titled 'German anti-fascists support refugees under attack' and it's just a video of a couple of dozen people in the street shouting in German. No description, no map, no timeline of events, no context. All of which are needed to make a coherent narrative of events. The news do that, they sometimes twist it but as it is news without any context at all is about as good as no news at all.


Hoping they'll flesh it out, I know the test of something like this is how it fares when something is actually happening and not how good it is ad idle. When there's something big going on I'll check it out.

grand master
Confess to looking on YouTube for an unedited version of the hunter crashing in Shoreham, don't understand the logic in the beeb cutting that small part of the sequence, it was shocking either way.

Verifying video authenticity has got to be a good thing. I have an issue with people filming the likes of Shoreham etc. It seems that ingrained in certain sectors of society that anything is fair game.

Thanks for this VERY useful blog, I didn't know about this until you mentioned it. It's a great idea in my opinion, I have now subscribed to this YouTube channel and look forward to seeing the news from here. Social media is a powerful tool, getting legitimate info from it is a problem, this should at least help solve some of these problems (i.e. Fact or fiction story / video). Thanks again for a great blog. ☺📱😊
Pretty cool! I didn't know about this either until i read it

Interesting! I suppose it is a sort of logical next step on from the likes of Twitter breaking news as is often the case.


A potential concern I have with this sort of approach becoming mainstream is that a lot of developing news stories are not best told via video clips and not all important news is visually dramatic.


Is there is a danger of the hot videos of the day effectively dumbing down or bypassing important issues completely if this becomes the main way that people keep track of what's going on?


On the plus side you could argue that it offers the ability to comment and discuss - although unedited you tube comments tend to get trolled a lot.