Redefining the News Reporter

The expanse and depth of YouTube’s coverage of international media is a prime example of how news is changing as we progress into the future.  The following is excerpted from an article highlighting this effect on the news distribution of the events in Ukraine:

These videos, which include live streams that showed the chaos in the streets, have attained more than 25 million views between them. More than 200,000 people watched Espreso TV‘s live stream of protests in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital city, on Feb. 18. Meanwhile, an independent news organization based in Kiev, had more than 165,000 viewers for its live stream on YouTube.

“YouTube is critical to giving people access to immediate and unfiltered information about what’s happening on the ground from multiple perspectives,” Tom Sly, YouTube’s global head of news partnerships said in a statement.

This further evidences my hypothesis that not too far into the future, the average person will be the primary distributor and receiver of the news. Journalism will have to entail more than just being at the event, because participants will take care of relaying that information for them. Journalist Kevin Sites has caught amazing footage of life in the hot zone, putting himself in-between the fire during war. However, his pieces that dig deeper into the lives of the participants and that relay the in-depth, personal effects of the war is what really makes his news stand out from the rest. Attach small cameras to the helmets of the soldiers, and there is no more need for war and disaster journalists to put themselves out into the field to catch footage.

The participant is always the first to respond to an an event. They are the first to be present, and to be part of the action. They are the actor. Now, with the development of new technology and the increased cyber connectedness, the participant is also the storyteller. To the news consumer, the participant is the most trusted source. The journalist appears almost as a secondary source compared to the actors in the event. It is no surprise that consumers have taken to YouTube to stay up to date.  In addition, YouTube, and this new news distribution method, allows for the success of small, new, and non-traditional news organizations to become primary distributors. YouTube itself has become the conduit between the news consumers and the news. There is now little need for big news companies to take care of this connection for us.

The news distribution is changing. And journalists will have to change their stories and how they tell them in order to keep up.


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