What a revolution the internet has become! YouTube, in particular, allows users around the globe to share videos of themselves or their own creations with everyone else, so you no longer need a TV broadcast in order to get millions of views. As cameras in mobile devices have been improving in their quality, users can record at any time, it can even be used to report all sorts of incidents, from public riots to natural disasters. Of course, being able to upload anything means some videos might not be as useful or the content might not even be real. That’s why YouTube is creating three initiatives to filter newsworthy content from the 5 million hours of news video that is watched daily. Showing the most relevant information in a dedicated channel.
Google has partnered with Storyful, a company that has been dedicated to verifying the accuracy of such content and has collaborated with YouTube since 2011 and created Facebook Newswire last year. Now they have created YouTube Newswire, a space where a curated list of videos recorded by users can be seen. Journalists can take advantage of this channel as it would offer different perspectives of major events, while Newswire will be organized by global feeds as well as regional ones to make it easier to see videos from different parts of the world.
Another useful tool for journalists is given by The First Draft Coalition which will be a site dedicated to explain how to verify the user-generated content in order to incorporate it to their report and the ethics on how to use them. The advice will be given by a group of experts such as thought leaders and journalists that specialized in social media. The site will launch in the fall, but there is a site from the Coalition updated weekly and it contains several how-to posts and examples of the verification of this kind of content.
The WITNESS Media Lab was created on top of the existing Human Rights Channel in partnership with WITNESS and will produce a series of projects focusing on human rights issues, once again, using content from the people that were involved in an incident to provide their point of view.