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YouTube Creates News Channel to Promote Eyewitness Videos

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The rise of smartphones has created a rise in citizen journalism, where anyone can use video to document major events taking place around them. Working with social news agency Storyful, YouTube has created a channel to highlight the best of that video and make it available for reporters.

Called YouTube Newswire, the channel is curated by Storyful editors and displays the day's most significant eyewitness events. Journalists can subscribe to the channel's Twitter feed or daily newsletter for notifications of new videos. The channel seems more a resource for online journalists rather than broadcast journalists, since the videos are meant to be embedded in online reports, not downloaded and edited into a new video report. Editors can certainly figure out a way to download videos they need, but there's no download mechanism built into the channel.

In its announcement, YouTube points out that its viewers watch over 5 million hours of news videos each day.

YouTube is also helping to form a group called the First Draft Coalition which aims to create resources that help journalists verify eyewitness videos. The group will create a site devoted to verification tools, and will offer advice on the ethics of using first-person news videos. 

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