Posted by: ethurman | August 3, 2009

A new way to see local news

This is the New York Times article I mentioned in class today.  YouTube is now supporting local news through a feature called News Near You.  I think this could be beneficial for people who want the chance to change the kind of news that is broadcast.  As we discussed, local news is frequently over dramatic soft news.  If people want to focus on hard news about their neighborhood, this could potentially be a good platform for them and it is certainly beneficial for citizens to be involved, even at the local level.   The article argues that this type of amateur journalism will have a different impact than blogging because the news outlets will be required to sign up with YouTube in order to have their content on the site.  Ideally, this will minimize people’s complaints of plagiarism.  If News Near You continues to grow, it will be interesting to see if this case and to compare its success to that of blogging.

It is also important to consider how influential something like this will be.  How much is there to be gained from targeting people based on their geographic location?  Additionally, most people don’t think of YouTube as a news site, so there will need to be a change in image if they want to draw a large number of people in.  Of course, we have seen the function and purpose of media change in certain circumstances, most recently, Twitter and the Iranian election.  The article argues that there may be a similar future for News Near You:  “In the future, more of the News Near You could come from people who do not report the news for a living. As the protests in Iran continue to demonstrate, citizens are able to provide much of the spot video from breaking news, even though they may lack the objectivity of professionals.”

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