This week a study has been released by Pew Research Center surrounding YouTube's viewership over a period of 15 months and have found citizens, not news organizations, to be holding the gold metal for most viewed videos. While it remains clear that non-web-based television is still the top gun as far as video-based news goes, YouTube's viewership loves everyday Joe-made news clips more than they like news corporations' take on everyday goings-on around the world. Is it possible that one day we'll rely on individuals on the scene at big events rather than a news van to pick up and report on happenings in real time?
The folks at Pew have made it clear that they're seeing a big shift in the way news is reported on the whole, not just here on YouTube. They've reported that though so-called citizen-made videos only took up 1/3 of their most popular YouTube videos list, they found that a significant amount of news group videos incorporated citizen-shot footage from YouTube users. As deputy director at Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Amy Mitchell notes:
"There's a new form of video journalism on this platform. It's a form in which the relationship between news organizations and citizens is more dynamic and more multiverse than we've seen in most other platforms before." - Mitchell
This study spanned January 2011 to March 2012 and found that top videos came from a mix of three sources when looking specifically at footage from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami that topped the charts for viewership. The top videos in this news event came from three places: a news network, a Japanese Coast Guard vessel, and a set of surveillance cameras.
As the web continues to come creeping up on all other forms of media, including television broadcasting, we must ask the following: do you have a television on which you've got a monthly bill for cable? If you do, do you watch the news on TV, or do you rely on web-based sources?
And another thing - if you watch the news on television, do you watch NBC, Fox News, or Comedy Central?
With news from Pew making it clear that it's not just professionals getting all the air time, it's no wonder they're struggling to keep up with the changing wave of the web.