YouTube deputizes citizen journalists


And professional journalists aren’t just taking note, they’re taking advantage. YouTube Direct is a “virtual assignment desk” that the pros can use to not only acquire content from citizens, but to request what content they need.

YouTube already has takers – using the service are Huffington Post, NPR, Politico, the
San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, and Sunbeam Television’s NBC WHDH-TV and CW WLVI-TV in Boston.

“People around the world are taking up cameras and covering news in ways big and small — from documenting global events, to filming local town halls in American neighborhoods,” said YouTube’s Steve Grove. “YouTube Direct empowers news and media organizations to easily connect with these citizen reporters, and use the power of our platform to cover the news better than ever before.”

News organizations can use the platform to request footage of breaking news, to request specific reports or to have citizen journalists conduct interviews to get the reactions of their peers to news of the day.

The platform allows the professional organizations to easily review submissions, and offers exposure and potential distribution to the creators of the videos.

RBR-TVBR observation: There are inherent dangers to accepting material from outside sources, but with the exercise of due caution, this can be a great resource for any kind of news organization. If the enormous manpower behind the gazillions of video cameras out there can be effectively harnessed, it might constitute one small step toward restoring the industry’s busted business model.