YouTube Direct to Solicit “Citizen Journalists”

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YouTube has announced a new project to help connect people who happen to film something of news events with journalists who might want to use that footage in a news-context. It’s called YouTube Direct.

According to the YouTube Blog post about the new service, its development was motivated by the fact that a significant amount of the footage we see from elections, earthquakes, fires and other natural disasters comes from people just pulling out a phone or a camera and hitting the record button.

According to the folks at YouTube, the new service allows for “media organisations to request, review and rebroadcast YouTube clips directly from YouTube users.” The aim seems to be to provide more access to content for those assembling new stories, which should mean that we see more and more video clips starting to crop up in our web-based news.

Essentially, the service kind of bypasses YouTube uploading in the first place, allowing news organisations to request content from their readers directly. From there, users are able to submit their content directly via a YouTube-style upload function that goes directly to the organisation. Those clips are also posted to YouTube and tagged accordingly.

For now there’s no solid word on just how YouTube Direct will work for television-based news (strange to have to make that distinction) beyond the fact that it allows news organisations to request the content from users in high quality for rebroadcast, but we imagine that the two will cross one another sooner or later. So far, the list of those organisations involved is relatively short, but boasts some big names, including the Huffington Post, NPR, the Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle.

For those with an interest, you can check out YouTube Direct in a little more detail over at the YouTube blog post on the new project, or you can check out the video below.

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