YouTube doesn’t want to give you a reason to turn on BBC News 24. The Google-owned video hosting site is trying to legitimise eyewitness accounts of breaking news by launching YouTube Newswire, a special feed for footage it verifies as accurate.
Video uploaded from people on the scene can provide crucial context, but these services can also amplify bad information, since many people share before making sure what they’re sharing is real. YouTube Newswire will be fact-checked by editors at a “social media news company” called Storyful, and YouTube is also launching a project called “The First Draft Coalition” to help journalists find trustworthy footage. That project will launch in the fall, but in the meantime, Newswire is already up.
The top two footage channels are covering the mass murder that occurred in Charleston the other night, and flooding in Oklahoma and Texas. Most of the approved Charleston videos are from news outlets, which makes me wonder if this’ll actually help people find unique eyewitness video or if it’ll rely too heavily on official sources.