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YouTube Introduces Tool for Citizen Journalists

w3207tv_300 copyYouTube has some great video.  You can find video from just about anywhere, from any event, with almost anyone.  And since anyone can shoot a video and post it, news organizations often showcase YouTube videos from events that they personally don’t have footage from.  Of course this played a crucial role earlier this year during the national election in Iran, when journalists were banned from reporting there.  Instead, the citizens of Iran took out their cameras and shot video and posted it to various sites all over the web.  

However, actually finding a specific video among millions of others can be a bit tricky sometimes.  A new tool designed by YouTube aims to change that. YouTube Direct will help connect websites connect with its users, most specifically news organizations with citizen journalists.   

YouTube’s Blog says that they created “a new tool that allows media organizations to request, review and rebroadcast YouTube clips directly from YouTube users. Built from our APIs, this open-source application lets media organizations enable customized versions of YouTube’s upload platform on their own websites. Users can upload videos directly into this application, which also enables the hosting organization to easily review video submissions and select the best ones to broadcast on-air and on their websites. As always, these videos live on YouTube, so users can reach their own audience while also getting broader exposure and editorial validation for the videos they create.”

This new feature is very similar to CNN’s iReport website, which allows users to post videos, pictures and audio from news events happening wherever they are, while being able to voice their opinions about headlines from around the globe.  Although this tool will likely help news organizations and citizens to connect the most, online businesses and bloggers are also likely to find this tool useful.  

“Businesses can use YouTube Direct to solicit promotional videos, nonprofits can use the application to call-out for support videos around social campaigns and politicians can use the platform to ask for user-generated political commercials. The opportunities to use the tool are as broad as the media spectrum itself.”

Website owners will be able to customize the YouTube Direct tool in several different ways, and will be able to accept or reject each video.  Accepted videos will be tagged and be linked back to your site from the video itself. 

ABC’s Good Morning America, NPR, & WHDH-TV (NBC 7 Boston) have all started using YouTube Direct in various ways, and have found much success.  YouTube released the following video explaining further how YouTube Direct works.

 

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