Twitter may be developing a news service for professionals. Or, more likely, it’s not, and that’s just Biz Stone thinking out loud. Here’s some advice on what such a thing might do, even as investigative journalism seems to be thriving alongside of social media. Twitter licenses and syndicates various chunks of its feed to developers already, and many journos and bloggers I know already use Twitter or a third-party app like Tweetdeck to filter news streams by topic. Although higher-powered filters and feeds could be powerful tools for news organizations, those potential buyers don’t necessarily have big budgets. I think that if I were Twitter, I’d leave this opportunity to the ecosystem, and focus on building products for consumers and marketers.
Local TV station ABC7 has partnered with YouTube to use its YouTube Direct tools to collect videos from citizen journalists for its local news. The partnership comes as YouTube has expanded its capabilities to make it easier for users to submit videos to news organizations.
YouTube (s goog) has launched a new tool, called YouTube Direct, that aims to connect news organizations with citizen journalists producing web video.
Built on YouTube APIs, the tool will provide an easy way for news agencies to collect and broadcast clips that users submit for review. By adding a customizable upload button to their web pages, those organizations can solicit user-produced videos on a variety of subjects.
YouTube Direct provides another advantage for cash-strapped media companies: Because all videos are hosted on the YouTube site, participating companies don’t have to go through the trouble of building out the infrastructure required to ingest, encode, store and distribute videos that have been uploaded. Read More about YouTube Direct Launched to Bolster Citizen Journalism
Being a reporter takes more than a video camera and the willingness to put yourself in harm’s way. There are skills and techniques that every good news gatherer should know, and to help out, YouTube (s GOOG) launched its new Reporters’ Center over the weekend.
The new section features videos from top journalists doling out advice on a wide variety of reporting topics. Katie Couric explains how to conduct a good interview; NPR’s Scott Simon discusses how to tell a good story; and Bob Woodward talks about investigative journalism. The Reporters’ Center will also be a place where aspiring citizen journalists can “learn practical and ethical tips, like how to fact check your stories, avoid breaking the law while reporting, and adhere to journalistic principles.”
Will the ongoing election protests in Iran be seen as a watershed moment in citizen journalism? We’ve written about how YouTube (s GOOG) has played a big role in this issue, and now CNN (s TWX) has shared that the events in Iran have driven a spike in use of its citizen journalism site, iReport.
According to CNN, from June 13 to June 17, 1,600 citizen-produced reports from Iran were filed to iReport, accounting for more than 50 percent of the total iReport.com submissions. Additionally, more than 3,000 new members were added to iReport over that time, compared with the 1,135 added from June 6 to 10.
MediaWeek reports that only 56 of those iReports have been approved for use online or on-air, since the issue is so sensitive and stories must be vetted.
This surge in citizen journalism is just the beginning, as social and new media tools become more mainstream. As we learned this week, the State Department urged Twitter to reschedule maintenance to keep that line of communication open, and Facebook made its entire site available in Persian. First-person accounts will increasingly have live mobile videocasting as services like Qik and Kyte get better and more phones are equipped with video capabilities, information will find ways through the cracks in government clampdowns.