Storyful and Youtube have started their joint project „Newswire“ today: a stream of user generated Youtube clips, prioritized with regard to the news agenda, found in the web and verified (so they say) by Storyful. The leading clip today shows Charleston AME church pastor Clementa Pinckney, who was killed by a gunmen together with eight members of his congregation. Other videos show reactions on the streets to the Charleston shooting, Flooding in Oklahoma, latest pictures from the Syrian war, and other news. So, is Youtube Newswire any good?
It does look pretty good: Newswire reflects the international news agenda quite well, and some of their videos seem fit to be used in news bulletins. The channel is aimed at journalists, Storyful offers licensing für user generated videos – so there is a business model behind it (of course). Will it work? It might. Newswire shows how two media giants try to dominate the future news agenda: Google´s Youtube teams up with Rupert Murdochs Storyful, and that is a little worrying indeed, not only because Rebekah Brooks now works for Storyful. Remember? She had to leave News Internation during the UK phone hacking scandal and found a new home in Rupert´s vast empire (quite a funny piece on Storyful and Rebekah Brooks by The Guardian).
Will Youtube Newswire replace TV news one day? Probably not alone, there will be other players. But it´s a good shot: Today´s media outlets will loose the race for the first shot from a news scene to their users very soon. Because Periscope, Meerkat and mobile phones in general enable everyone to be a storyteller, especially in the first minutes, the first hour of news. All that matters then is the best picture from the scene. Classic journalistic work follows – the background, the analysis. And that is what Youtube Newswire banks on. Storyful tries to be really good in finding that user generated content, Youtube will distribute it – a strong coalition to rattle the TV news market.