YouTube Newswire: Putting News in the Public's Hands
Late last year, Google News Lab teamed up with the website Storyful to create YouTube Newswire. The news service utilizes Storyful's archive of verified user-generated videos to expand the News Lab's mission to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs in order to push forth the new wave of "crowdsourced" journalism. YouTube Newswire is a channel on YouTube, comprised of top stories from the viewpoint of those who are close to the story.
Since social media and user-based news content is now a constant method getting out stories that our virtually ignored by mainstream media, sites like YouTube Newswire is a necessity. This site is adding on to the popularity of social media and why it is ultimately effective. The biggest advantage of this site is visibility. Part of what makes social media great for news stories is the fact that it covers news in an unbiased manner. Mainstream media, for the most part, is one-sided, depending on the stance of the network and its journalists. What social media does well is that they cover the story the way it is, without journalists manipulating the story to their beliefs. It relies heavily on the "wisdom of the crowd," as we've read in this week's readings. We, as the public, cannot predict the outcome of these stories. However, we can do the next best thing, which is to provide as much first-hand information on the story as possible without swaying the narrative either way.
The only downside to this idea is based off of the journalist's state of mind. As a journalist, it can be intimidating to rely solely on user-friendly videos to frame the story in a way that is unbiased and understandable to the audience. We have been taught to craft a narrative completely on our own to relay to the audience for decades. To put the story in the hands of the audience themselves is a major departure from what we've been taught, and some journalists may turn themselves off to the idea. However, if done in the right context, a site like YouTube Newswire has the potential to become a great asset to the journalistic world.