Citizen News: Youtube's Citizen Journalism Push
Google is moving deeper into the news sphere with Youtube's new Citizen News. Besides aggregating links via Google news, the search giant is leveraging Youtube's existing upload tools to encourage eyewitnesses to contribute newsworthy material to Youtube itself.
This isn't new functionality, but a new method of sorting contributions that are added to Youtube anyway.
The YouTube Reporters' Center hosts video content that includes a piece on how to interview well by CBS' Katie Couric; a piece on how to document a global humanitarian crisis by The New York Times' Nick Kristof; and even a piece with tips on investigative journalism by legendary Watergate reporter Bob Woodward.
While PC Magazine sees this as a step up for citizen reporting, early inputs show similar behavior to the rest of Youtube: material copied from other sources. It's a very good idea to have well-known journalists post tutorials, but there's no way to force users to watch them, or to control how they use a given site.
That people will watch video tutorials and turn into a bunch of Bob Woodwards is not, in my experience, realistic. Some people will follow the guidelines suggested, many will not. A casual look at Youtube comment threads (pick one, any one) will show what I mean.
On the other hand, anything that increases the quality of citizen reporting is a good thing. even mainstream outlets get confused pretty easily, judging from the dizzyingly varied reports coming from the Yemenia Airways crash.
(Written while testing site/tool performance in Firefox 3.5, Mac OSX. Used a workaround for Highlight)
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New York, New York, United States