YouTube Extends CitizenTube Concept With Local News Channel Deal

ABC7 uReport

It's long been a staple of citizen journalism, but YouTube has signed a deal with a local news station in San Francisco to enable people to submit their own video reports and photos. It's a little bit of crowd-sourcing, a little bit of outsourcing, and it probably keeps the station's costs down. So, win-win.

ABC7 News has called the scheme uReport, and it invites locals to send in videos of anything they think needs fixing, or they've got a gripe about. Videos of the Bay Area weather, as well as photos, are all welcomed—even vox pops (current subject: California budget cuts).

The uReport project is one step on from YouTube's CitizenTube news feed, which is exactly as it sounds, and is also a tie-in with Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Olivia Ma, News Manager of YouTube, calls the project an experiment, but believes that local videos are "most relevant to your life," citing the Oscar Grant shooting of 2009 in Oakland as a classic example—something that is clearly felt by Oakland residents, who have uploaded several uReport vox pops on the subject.

The videos can be uploaded directly via Google Maps, and there are four categories: Breaking news, events, weather, and Bay Area scenes. And just so you remember that it's not just the iPhone that's responsible for an increase in citizen journalism, there's a link to the YouTube Direct mobile app for Android devices.

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