Study: Youtube holds its own as a news medium

Youtube is increasingly being used as a source for traditional reporting. That's according to a study by the Pew Research Center for Excellence in Journalism. The videos of private individuals are appearing more and more often in the news of media companies.

After last year's tsunami in Japan, which killed more than 18,000 people and caused damage of around 150 billion euros, a strikingly large number of people searched for information on YouTube. In the seven days after the disaster, the 20 most clicked news videos all had to do with the tsunami and were viewed more than 96 million times.

The researchers examined the most popular videos in the YouTube "news" category, analyzing content, topics and popularity. In the process, they found that a symbiotic relationship has developed between people and news organizations. Youtube users post their own videos online while sharing content from professional media outlets. Media outlets, in turn, use the videos of private individuals and incorporate them into their reporting.

No ethical standards defined

The disaster in Japan is no exception: Youtube is becoming increasingly important in global news coverage. The study concludes that, on average, a news topic tops the ranking list every third month. Other popular events were the elections in Russia, the popular uprisings in the Middle East, and the "Costa Concordia" cruise ship accident.

According to the study, problems can arise with this exchange because no ethical standards have been defined to date. Youtube does offer guidelines, but it is clear that they are not always followed and certain content is not considered. (Source: Press release)

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