Youtube : Entertaining videos or Visual Journalism ??

What do you search on Youtube? Your favorite TV Show? Recorded sport footage? Favorite song? Any other comedy video or NEWS ???

On March 11, 2011, an earthquake registering 9.0 on the Richter scale struck the coast of northeastern Japan, triggering a tsunami that would kill more than 18,000 people and leave an estimated $180 billion in damage. The news media worldwide provided extensive coverage of the disaster and its aftermath, but millions of people also turned to the web to learn about the event on the video sharing website YouTube.In the seven days following the disaster (March 11-18), the 20 most viewed news-related videos on YouTube all focused on the tragedy-and were viewed more than 96 million times.

Some key findings:

  • The most popular news videos tended to depict natural disasters or political upheaval-usually featuring intense visuals.
  • News events are inherently more ephemeral than other kinds of information, but at any given moment news can outpace even the biggest entertainment videos. In 2011, news events were the most searched term on YouTube four months out of 12, according to YouTube’s internal data.
  • Citizens play a substantial role in supplying and producing footage. More than a third of the most watched videos (39%) were clearly identified as coming from citizens. Another 51% bore the logo of a news organization, though some of that footage, too, appeared to have been originally shot by users rather than journalists.
  • Citizens are also responsible for posting a good deal of the videos originally produced by news outlets. Fully 39% of the news pieces originally produced by a news organization were posted by users.
  • The most popular news videos are a mix of edited and raw footage. Videos produced by news organizations, 65% were edited, but so were 39% of what came from citizens.
  • Personalities are not a main driver of the top news videos. No one individual was featured in even 5% of the most popular videos studied here-and fully 65% did not feature any individual at all.
  • Unlike in traditional TV news, the lengths of the most popular news videos on YouTube vary greatly.

The approach from news organizations has been a blend of participation and resistance. Many news outlets have developed their own YouTube channels and are avidly posting content.

  • The Associated Press, created its channel in 2006 and now boasts more than 250,000 followers and more than a billion views of its videos. (A user becomes a follower of a YouTube channel by hitting the ‘subscribe’ button, which places updates from that channel on the user’s homepage.)
  •  The New York Times news channel has more than 78,000 followers.
  • Russia Today has more than 280,000.
  • ABC News, put on YouTube many of the same stories that appear on their television channel.

Some non-news organizations, including governments, have also attempted to restrict the availability of their content on YouTube, mostly for political reasons. In March 2009, for example, the government of Bangladesh blocked access to the site blocked access to the site entirely after a recording of a private meeting between the Prime Minister and army officers was uploaded. The incident occurred two days after an attempted mutiny by border guards left more than 70 people dead. Government officials insisted it was in the country’s “national interest” to block the site and more videos might worsen the tense situation. China, Libya, Pakistan and Iran have also all attempted at one point or another to block YouTube content.

Top News event on youtube:

News Video Producers:

After a video is captured, some person or organization takes that footage and puts it into a format that can be viewed by others. At times, this is done by the person or group who captured the video. At other times, a second party obtains and packages the footage.

In looking at the identifications attached to these most viewed videos, the range of “producers” on YouTube falls into three broad categories, news outlets, citizens and outside organizations.

While pop stars often receive millions of hits for their videos and interviews on YouTube, the lure of personality was less of a draw for news and political videos. Fully 65% of the most watched news videos did not feature any individual. And no single person was featured in even 5% of the most popular studied here.

President Obama was featured in more of the most popular news videos than any other individual. (The audience for YouTube is 30% U.S.-based and 70% from other countries.) That is almost three times as many as the next most watched newsmaker here (North Korean leader Kim Jong Il). Still it was not a large number. In all 4% of the 260 videos studied here, 11 videos in all, or just over 10% of those that featured a dominant newsmaker, focused on the president.

From the journey of Entertainment to News, Youtube has gained 3rd position in the world of Social Networks. Let me know in comments about your use of Youtube.



Source: Pew Research Center report


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