By ANDRES CORREA
YouTube recently launched an “Original Channels Initiative” designed to invest in bringing original content to the website. The program, funded by Google in order to build a foundation for Google TV, announced in October that it would be adding 60 new original channels. One of these new original channels is an effort by ITN Productions to bring citizen journalism to YouTube.
Truthloader, set to launch later this year, will feature content that will be aggregated by social media experts and professional journalists, including eyewitness video footage. Social media and Youtube have recently grabbed a lot of attention due to the Arab Spring.
Citizens in these nations have used social media to stage protests and have posted videos to YouTube that detail the great injustices taking place in their countries. The goal of Truthloader will be to filter out fact from fiction when dealing with citizen journalism and providing a high quality eyewitness perspective for YouTubers.
According to ITN Productions, the channel will feature daily bulletins, weekly debates, and a weekly feature on “conspiracy theories.” The debates will be conducted through social media on Skype and Google Hangouts and will feature actual citizen journalists discussing important issues. The channel, like most original Youtube channels, will be funded primarily through advertising.
The world is becoming more interconnected by the day and the way in which we learn of breaking stories is changing because of it. This new wave of citizen journalism has, perhaps, changed history in the Arab Spring and the world looks forward to the impact they may have in the future. It is important that citizen journalists get a voice in the game, while experts in the field of journalism to fact-check and make sure they are being held accountable. Truthloader is step in the right direction towards giving citizen journalism a more fine-tuned identity.