YouTube creates “symbiotic relationship” between “citizens” and news organisations -
YouTube creates “symbiotic relationship” between “citizens” and news organisations
Editor | 16-07-2012
A new report from The Pew Research Centre has revealed the huge extent to which YouTube is becoming a major platform for viewing news.
Pew examined 15 months' worth of the most popular news videos on YouTube between January 2011 and March 2012 identifying and tracking the five most-viewed videos each week located in the "news & politics" channel, analysing the nature of the video, the topics that were viewed most often, who produced them and who posted them.
It says that its research has revealed a complex, symbiotic relationship between citizens and news organisations that it says comes close to what is known as continuous journalistic "dialogue". The end result is that consumers appear to be embracing the interplay between sources in what they watch and share, creating a new kind of television news.
During the research period, Pew found that in 2011, news events were the most searched term on YouTube four months out of 12, according to YouTube's internal data. The most popular news videos tended to depict natural disasters or political upheaval-usually featuring intense visuals.With a majority of YouTube traffic (70%) outside the US, the three most popular storylines worldwide over the 15-month period were non-US namely the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the Russian elections and the Arab Spring uprisings.
Nearly two-fifths (39%) of the news pieces originally produced by a news organisation were posted by users and of the rest of the most popular news videos of the last 15 months, 61%, were posted by the same news organisations that produced the reports.
Pew suggests that this has multiple implications for news outlets: it says that audiences on YouTube are reshaping the news agenda, but they are also offering more exposure to the content of traditional news outlets.
The research firm also warned that clear ethical standards have not developed on how to attribute the video content moving through the synergistic sharing loop. Even though there are some YouTubeguidelineson how to attribute content, Pew says that it is evident that these are not being universally adhered to. For example, it remarks that news organisations sometimes post content that was apparently captured by citizen eyewitnesses without any clear attribution as to the original producer.
Furthermore, it found that non-professional witnesses were posting copyrighted material without permission and that the creator of some material could not be identified. All this, it asserts, creates the potential for news to be manufactured, or even falsified, without giving audiences much ability to know who produced it or how to verify it.