While Youtube may well be first with the news these days it’s worth remembering it’s not always the most reliable
Ups its newsbreaking cred
YOUTUBE has become a major platform for news, with viewers tuning in for eyewitness videos and coverage in times of major events and natural disasters, a new study has found.
In early 2012, the most searched term of the month on YouTube was a news- related event, according to a new study by the Pew Research Centers Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Whether you watch news videos on news websites, on your phone, on YouTube, or on the evening TV news, an increasing amount of live footage coverage is uploaded to or sourced from YouTube.
Members of the public and news organisations alike are utilising the video sharing website, generating and incorporating user- generated content into breaking news offerings.
From devastating earthquakes in Japan to armed conflict in Afghanistan and uncovering Syrian mass burials, the most popular news videos online tend to depict natural disasters or political upheaval, usually featuring intense visuals.
YouTube has evolved from being a world of funny cat videos and babies doing karaoke, to become a serious new source of ‘‘ visual news’’.
The reach of YouTube is enormous – it is now the third most visited website online, trailing only behind Google ( which owns YouTube) and Facebook, according to data compiled by British research service Netcraft.
From YouTube’s own statistics, more than 72 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute and it receives more than four billion video views a day.
It’s little wonder that news organisations are scrambling to create the next viral hit.
The types of news videos that ‘‘ go viral’’ are varied. They range from videos by professional news organisations and members of the public, to political interest groups, TV networks and governments.
Not everybody plays by the rules of fair use, of course ( it IS the internet), even though YouTube offers clear guidelines on how to attribute content.
As a result, some news organisations post content obviously captured by members of the public without attributing the original producer, while members of the public in turn, often post copyrighted news material without permission.
Both scenarios create the potential for news to be manufactured, doubted, and falsified, without giving audiences much ability to know who produced it or how to verify it.
When in doubt, seek the source out or stay with a trusted news service.