YouTube has launched a new channel that gives online news editors video access to footage posted by citizen journalists and even request such video be shot by amateurs seeking attention. ‘YouTube Direct’ works on a purely voluntary basis, with no commission paid to users whose videos are used, but they will receive credit. Steve Grove, head of news and politics at YouTube, said: “It’s an incentive to upload great video, because of the recognition you’ll get from legitimate news organizations”.
News outlets seeking footage can announce it in a variety of ways, including via call-out videos posted at YouTube. When a YouTube user has video they think will interest the mainstream media, it can make it easy for editors, producers and journalists to contact them.
Testing the service now are Huffington Post, NPR, Politico, the San Francisco Chronicle and a couple of Boston TV stations.
In a blog posting, Grove links to examples of such newsworthy user-generated video: presidential candidate George Allen’s “Macaca” reference, video of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in China and a teacher screaming at and slapping an autistic student.