YouTube Launches New Eyewitness News Initiative

Google / Mobile / Tech
youtube featured

It’s not uncommon while watching breaking news to see amateur video footage, courtesy of YouTube. With a camera in just about every phone, and a phone in just about every hand, it is becoming more commonplace for events or the immediate aftermath of those events to be recorded by eyewitnesses.

Today, YouTube acknowledged that fact while announcing a set of three new initiatives to support the discovery and verification of eyewitness news videos on YouTube. Writing on their official blog, YouTube says that there are over 5 million hours of news video watched on on YouTube every day.

The new services are:

The YouTube Newswire: A partnership with Storyful, a social news agency that YouTube has worked with since 2011, Newswire will be a curated feed of noteworthy news of the day, verified by Storyful’s editor team. The goal is to provide journalists with a resource to discover news video related to major events, and highlight eyewitness video that may bring a different perspective to major news stories.

The First Draft Coalition: The goal behind this group is to provide verification of user-generated news for journalists. The coalition will consist of experts from Eyewitness Media Hub, Storyful, Bellingcat,, Meedan, Emergent, SAM Desk, and Verification Junkie. The site will launch later this fall.

The WITNESS Media Lab – will produce in-depth projects that focus on human rights struggles as seen from the perspective of the people living and experiencing them. The first project on the docket for this site is exploring the impact of bystander video in police brutality cases in the United States. Their goal is to find “a new approach to tackling pressing human rights issues through the analysis of citizen video.”

On the YouTube blog post you can find the Twitter feeds and site links for these projects.

Have you ever been an eyewitness to a major event and used your phone to document it? Tell us about it in the comments.

  Source: YouTube Blog
To Top