With the increasingly popularity of Periscope and Snapchat , YouTube is no longer the platform of choice for real-time, firsthand accounts of big news events. It seems like the video-sharing hub is well aware of this, judging by its latest initiative: the YouTube Newswire, a daily feed of the website’s most newsworthy first-person accounts.
“With the Newswire, we hope to provide journalists with an invaluable resource to discover news video around major events, and to highlight eyewitness video that offers new perspectives on important news stories,” writes Olivia Ma, head of strategy at Google News Lab, in a blog post. “The Newswire will feature global and regional feeds that surface the most relevant videos in different parts of the world.”
YouTube has partnered with Storyful, a startup that fact-checks breaking news on social media, to suss out whether or not a video has merit before featuring it on the Newswire. Storyful gives reporters the ability to safely use content sourced from social media, without worrying that it might be a hoax.
The YouTube Newswire has been launched in tandem with two other programs that underscore the value of first-person news footage: The First Draft Coalition is a group of social media experts who will be building a site that teaches journalists how to verify eyewitness videos and how to use them appropriately in their reporting. The Witness Media Lab will shine a spotlight on human rights issues, starting with a project that investigates the effects of bystander video accounts on police brutality cases.