YouTube has launched YouTube Newswire, powered by Storyful, where journalists can access eyewitness user-generated videos to incorporate into their reporting. Storyful, a social news agency startup that News Corp. acquired in December, 2013, verifies and curates the videos. YouTube Newswire is free, and includes global and regional feeds covering news, weather and politics.
Eyewitness videos have become a huge part of news reporting because of the mass proliferation of smartphones, which allow for spontaneous video capture often well ahead of the arrival of established news organizations. Social media has amplified the reach of these videos. But with all this video floating around the challenge becomes finding it, verifying it, organizing it and gaining the rights to use it - all prerequisites for it being used by established news outlets.
These are the challenges Storyful addresses and it says that to date it has verified over 100K different videos. Given YouTube's popularity and the exiting relationship between YouTube and Storyful, YouTube Newswire should drive eyewitness video even further.
As this happens, the boundaries between established news outlets and citizen journalism seem poised to blur even further. Meanwhile news has become one of the most important verticals for mobile video, with its short segments and rapid updates well-suited for on-the-go use.
In addition to YouTube Newswire, YouTube has also announced 2 additional initiatives: The First Draft Collection and The WITNESS Media Lab. Launching in the Fall, First Draft is a collection of resources to help educate journalists with how to tap into user-generated news video. WITNESS Media Lab will create a series of in-depth projects focused on human rights struggles.