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.
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.
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
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, Reported.ly, 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.
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!
You can read more about me here and my favourite apps here