YouTube Direct to spawn legions of citizen journalists

17 Nov 2009

Google-owned YouTube is to empower anyone armed with a camera phone to capture the news in front of their eyes and broadcast it to millions via news organisations with the launch of a new citizen journalist channel YouTube Direct.

The YouTube Direct interface allows news organisations to request, view and rebroadcast clips directly from YouTube contributors.

The move could also see YouTube emerge as a rival to live-streaming services such as Qik.

“YouTube Direct allows you to embed the upload functionality of YouTube directly into your own site, enabling your organisation to request, review, and re-broadcast user-submitted videos with ease,” the company’s new site reads.

“News organisations can ask for citizen reporting; non-profits can call out for support videos around social campaigns; businesses can ask users to submit promotional videos about your brand. With YouTube Direct, the opportunities to connect directly with the YouTube community are endless.”

Built from our APIs, this open-source application lets media organisations enable customised versions of YouTube’s upload platform on their own websites. Users can upload videos directly into this application, which also enables the hosting organisation to easily review video submissions and select the best ones to broadcast on air and on their websites.

“As always, these videos are also live on YouTube, so users can reach their own audience while also getting broader exposure and editorial validation for the videos they create,” YouTube said.

News organisations committed to using the new service include The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years