YouTube Direct gathers news from citizen journalists

Who needs Rupert Murdoch or The Wall Street Journal? Not YouTube, that’s for sure. Well, that may be a bit strong, but the ubiquitous video hub says it’s struck a deal with a number of news organizations to help supply them with video news and feature content, offering user-submitted video clips, a kind of citizen journalism. YouTubers who think they've captured noteworthy video can post them using YouTube Direct, which then flags the vids for news organizations, alerting editors of potential content.

YouTube’s parent, Google, has been in Murdoch’s gun sights of late, accused by the media magnate of stealing copy -- and, thus, revenue -- by listing news items from his properties in search results. Murdoch has threatened to cut the service off. Google, meanwhile, has taken pains to portray itself as a friend of the media industry; the YouTube play is, potentially, another token in that game.

Regardless of the outcome, it’s an interesting turn that takes online video onto a different stage, giving YouTube an opportunity to make the news on a daily basis as a news gatherer and not just the news maker.

So far, NPR, Politico, the Huffington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle have signed up as early adopters. YouTube says it expects to sign more media outlets down the road.

YouTube says the open-source app lets news organizations enable customized versions of the upload platform on their own websites. The video can be used on air, or on the company’s websites. “Though we built YouTube Direct to help news organizations expand their coverage and connect directly with audiences, the application is designed to meet any organization's goal of leveraging video content submitted by the community,” said the YouTube blog announcing YouTube Direct. “Businesses can use YouTube Direct to solicit promotional videos, nonprofits can use the application to call out for support videos around social campaigns and politicians can use the platform to ask for user generated political commercials.”

Great, just what we need, more political commercials.

For more:

- see this video
- see this Google blog

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