YouTube yesterday announced plans for a new “newswire” of eyewitness videos and a separate project on videos related to social justice and human rights.
The service is in partnership with the social news group Storyful.
YouTube Newswire will be a curated feed of the most newsworthy eyewitness videos of the day, which have been verified by Storyful’s team of editors.
Youtube hopes that through Newswire , they will be able 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.
The initiative will draw on user-contributed videos on YouTube such as those which have been important sources for events such as the Arab Spring uprisings and protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
Google News Lab’s Olivia Ma said in the blog post that it’s almost impossible to turn on the news during a breaking event without seeing raw video uploaded by a YouTube user somewhere across the globe.
“Today, more than five million hours of news video is watched on YouTube every day, and the role of the eyewitness has never had a more vital place in the newsgathering process,” she said.
YouTube also said it was launching a team to work on verification of videos contributed to the platform called The First Draft Coalition.
It will includes experts from Eyewitness Media Hub, Storyful, Bellingcat, First Look Media and others and “will develop and program a new site for verification and ethics training, tools, research, and, most importantly, case studies around the biggest news stories of the moment,” according to the statement.
Another announcement revealed that YouTube would team up with the Witness Media Lab on “a series of in-depth projects that focus on human rights struggles as seen from the perspective of those who live, witness, and experience them.”
The first project will explore the impact of bystander videos in bringing about justice in police brutality cases in the United States.