A study has been conducted that looked at increasing usage of YouTube as a source for news and disaster footage. The study sought to determine if users were increasingly turning to YouTube as a place to find eyewitness videos in times of major events and natural disasters. The study was conducted by the Pew Research Center Project for Excellent and Journalism and was released today.
The study looked at 15 months of the most popular news videos on YouTube and found that viewership for TV news is still much higher than YouTube news viewership. However, the study also found that YouTube is growing significantly as a place for professional journalism and citizen content to mix. According to the study, more than a third of the most-watched news videos on YouTube came from citizens.
That is really no surprise considering that YouTube is almost exclusively used by individuals. The study also found that some of the most popular videos on the site were of news happenings such as Russian elections, unrest in the Middle East, the collapse of the fair stage in Indiana, along with the crash of the Italian cruise ship. The study does warn that there are issues with authenticity from news videos on YouTube.