By Sahil Patel
YouTube has partnered with News Corp’s social news agency Storyful to launch YouTube Newswire, a new video channel dedicated to helping journalists and news organizations find on-the-ground user-generated clips of important worldwide events.
“It’s almost impossible to turn on the news during a breaking event without seeing raw video uploaded by a YouTube user somewhere across the globe,” said Olivia Ma, head of strategy and operations for News Lab at Google, in a blog post. “We live in a world where anyone can bear witness to what is happening around them and share it with a global audience, and YouTube has become a primary home for this powerful, first-person documentary footage.”
To play more of a role between citizen journalist and actual journalist, YouTube Newswire launches with curated feeds of “the most newsworthy eyewitness videos of the day,” according to Ma. The channel offers curated feeds covering both global and regional news. All videos appearing on the feed will have been verified by Storyful’s team of editors and will be embeddable from their original source.
The Newswire is one of three new initiatives at YouTube aimed at helping journalists. Another, called The First Draft Coalition, brings together a group of experts in social-media journalism to create an educational resource on how to verify “eyewitness media.” The group consists of Storyful, Eyewitness Media Hub, Bellingcat, First Look Media’s Reported.ly, Meedan, Emergent, SAM Desk, and Verification Junkie. In partnership with Witness, YouTube will support the Witness Media Lab by producing a series of projects that focus on human rights struggles as seen through the eyes of those who live, witness, and experience them.