YouTube has used the CitizenTube name a few times in the past, tracking certain major news stories (Iran election protests, for example). But why limit it to only extraordinary situations? YouTube today announced that CitizenTube will be seeing a hefty expansion this summer.
Working with the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, YouTube is looking to turn CitizenTube into a curated stream of news videos from all kinds of sources. You’ll see footage from mainstream news organizations, sure–they’ve got some pretty good resources; that’s one of the perks of being mainstream–but those will see equal weighting with “citizen” journalism.
I’m surprised YouTube hasn’t tried this already, especially given that Google (its owner) has put so much effort into building its news system. YouTube, with its ridiculously large library of videos, has the ability to show a more balanced view of current events through video than just about anywhere else, as well as the ability to publish those videos instantly. It’s not clear exactly how UC Berkeley will be involved, but given the scope of the project, somebody certainly needs to curate it.