Google has just launched YouTube Newswire, a feed of verified eyewitness breaking news stories.
YouTube Newswire will cover both global and regional news, with a Twitter feed and a daily newsletter announcing the latest and best videos. YouTube Newswire will highlight the best of what YouTube has to offer, and make the streaming video site more useful for people who want accurate information.
Today, more than 5 million hours of news video is watched on YouTube every day, and the role of the eyewitness has never had a more vital place in the news gathering process. 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.
Additionally, YouTube has been a source for breaking news over the years:
In the last ten years, we’ve witnessed many of the biggest and most important news stories unfold on YouTube. From the Green Revolution, Arab Spring and protests in Ferguson, to the Charlie Hebdo attacks and earthquake in Nepal, user-generated video has provided a unique and visceral perspective on what’s happening in the world around us. 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.
Considering the massive amount of video on YouTube, it’s tough to tell if the video you’re watching is legitimate, or an elaborate hoax. YouTube is aware of this and believes that journalists should be able to spot news hoaxes, so they will be launching two helpful initiatives to support the discovery and verification of eyewitness news video:
- First Draft Coalition: a forthcoming educational resource created by experts such as Bellingcat (a site founded by Eliot Higgins, a British citizen journalist) which will teach people how to verify eyewitness footage.
- WITNESS Media Lab, a collaboration which will produce a series of “in-depth projects that focus on human rights struggles as seen from the perspective of those who live, witness, and experience them.”