June 30, 2009

YouTube’s new Reporters’ Center

JD LasicaRegular readers know that Socialmedia.biz covers not just social media but also citizen media — and it’s all melding together anyway into one giant conversational media ecosystem, right?

So I was gladdened to hear that Google and YouTube have taken another tentative step forward into the realm of citizen journalism with Monday’s launch of the YouTube Reporters’ Center. Above is one of the featured videos: NPR’s Scott Simon on How to Tell a Story.

YouTube has done some great work in the space with its pioneering Ask the presidential candidates a question in the CNN YouTube Debates and with its citizentube project currently documenting the turmoil in streets of Iraq.

While the pleas of some in the news profession for Google to step in and “save” the U.S. newspapers industry are downright silly, Google and YouTube are doing the smart thing by focusing on the journalism, not the underlying publishing platform, and by underscoring the need to uphold journalism values and standards instead of throwing it all on the scrapheap and starting from scratch, as all too many bloggers want to do.

Here’s a guest post by my friend Oliva Ma of YouTube’s News & Politics team announcing the new Center:

Helping you report the news

Ever captured a natural disaster or a crime on your cell-phone camera? Filmed a political rally or protest, and then interviewed the participants afterward? Produced a story about a local issue in your community? If you’ve done any of these things or aspire to, then you’re part of the enormous community of citizen reporters on YouTube — and now we’re launching a new resource to help you learn more about how to report the news.

It’s called The YouTube Reporters’ Center, and it features some of the nation’s top journalists sharing instructional videos with tips and advice for better reporting. Learn how to prepare for an interview from CBS News’ Katie Couric; how to be an investigative reporter from the legendary Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, or why it’s important for citizens to participate in the news-gathering process from Arianna Huffington. And definitely don’t miss out on New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s video on how to report from a crisis area without getting shot.

In addition, you can also learn practical and ethical tips, like how to fact check your stories, avoid breaking the law while reporting, and adhere to journalistic principles. Check out the Reporters’ Center to see all the videos or sample a few in this playlist.

This isn’t meant to be a one-way conversation. For the first time on YouTube, these reporters are making themselves available to engage with you directly. If you have experiences on reporting the news yourself and would like to share your tips, you can submit them for inclusion in the center. Upload your “how-to” videos to youtube.com/reporterscenter and share your knowledge with citizen journalists around the world.

If you’re a news organization that would to become a YouTube news partner, please read more information on how to apply here.

Participating journalists and media organizations contributing videos to the YouTube
Reporters’ Center:

Bill Adair, Editor, Politifact
Nathalie Applewhite, Associate Director, The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Donna Cassata, Editor, Associated Press
Chris Cillizza, Political Reporter and Author of “The Fix” blog, The Washington Post
Kate Connolly, Reporter, Newsweek
Katie Couric, CBS Evening News
Jim Drinkard, Accountability Editor, Associated Press
Kwame Dawes, Journalist, The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Arianna Huffington, Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post
Michael Isikoff, Investigative Correspondent, Newsweek
Riz Khan, The Riz Khan Show, Al-Jazeera English
Nicholas Kristof, Columnist, The New York Times
Andre Lambertson, Journalist, The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Dana Milbank, Political Reporter and Author of the “Washington Sketch” column, The
Washington Post
Beth Murphy, journalist, The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Lizzie O’Leary, Washington Correspondent for Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg
Adam Pasick, Editor of Reuters.com, Reuters
Jon Resnick, Planning Editor, Associated Press
Jon Sawyer, Executive Director, The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Scott Simon, Weekend Edition, NPR
Tavis Smiley, The Tavis Smiley Show, PBS
Josh Tyrangiel, Managing Editor of Time.com, Time Magazine
Bob Woodward, journalist, The Washington Post
Dean Wright, Global Editor, Ethics, Innovation and News Standards, Reuters
Randi Zuckerberg, Facebook
The Citizen Media Law Project
The UpTake

– End of Olivia’s dispatch –

There are now a handful of citizen journalism resources available to the public, including the Center for Citizen Media’s Principles of Journalism project that Dan Gillmor and I headed up two years ago, mirrored on the Knight Citizen News Network.

I’m glad to see the last five names on YouTube’s list, given that it’s currently titled a bit too much toward traditional news organizations when there’s a burgeoning ecosystem of citizen media publications and place blogs that are inventing the next generation of community news. But this is a great start, and in fact Olivia has invited me to take part.

Given a bit of free time, I certainly will.

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