YouTube has announced a $25 million commitment in support of efforts to promote “authoritative” news on the online video platform.
“Today, we’re announcing steps we’re taking with the GNI to support the future of news in online video,” YouTube announced on its blog. “As part of the launch of GNI (Google News Initiative) in March, we announced funding to support the future of news. Today we are committing $25M to a YouTube-specific investment.”
Talking about how the work of trusted journalistic organizations is as critical as ever, YouTube announced the steps they are taking with the Google News Initiative to support the future of news in online video, especially focused on improving the news experience on YouTube.
“Quality journalism requires sustainable revenue streams”
YouTube also touched on its commitment to supporting journalism with technology that allows news to thrive, referring to its partnership with European publishers starting 2015 when they developed Player for Publishers, because maintaining video delivery infrastructure was proving to be costly for the publishers themselves.
Player for Publishers enabled news organizations to use YouTube to give viewers a world-class video experience, across their own websites and mobile apps, while reducing costs and offering improved monetization for news organizations.
Today, over 100 publishers in more than 25 countries use Player for Publishers.
Highlighting “authoritative sources”
At a time when the internet is rife with fake news, YouTube is working on ways to prominently surface authoritative sources and proper context, especially during fast-moving, breaking news events.
“After a breaking news event, it takes time to verify, produce and publish high-quality videos. Journalists often write articles first to break the news rather than produce videos,” explained Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer and Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer of YouTube.
“That’s why in the coming weeks in the U.S. we will start providing a short preview of news articles in search results on YouTube that link to the full article during the initial hours of a major news event, along with a reminder that breaking and developing news can rapidly change.”
Providing proper context
Another set of new features YouTube is rolling out focuses on giving users more sources of information on topical searches and videos, so that people can make their own decisions about the information they consume along with context to inform their judgments.
“Starting today, users will begin seeing information from third parties, including Wikipedia and Encyclopædia Britannica, alongside videos on a small number of well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation, like the moon landing and the Oklahoma City Bombing,” YouTube announced.
Investing in digital literacy education
The Californian video-sharing service also stressed their commitment to working with the journalism community to build a more sustainable video ecosystem for news organizations.
Along with the Google News Initiative and Google.org, they have teamed up with the Poynter Institute, Stanford University, Local Media Association, and the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) to support MediaWise, a U.S.-based initiative designed to equip 1 million teens with digital literacy skills.
According to YouTube, the $25 million investment will cover the following:
- Working group with news organizations:
Establishing a working group with news organizations and experts from around the world to help them develop new product features, improve the news experience on YouTube, and tackle emerging challenges.
- Innovation grants:
YouTube will provide funding across approximately 20 global markets to support news organizations in building sustainable video operations.
Provided on an application basis to news organizations of all types, these grants will enable YouTube partners to build key capabilities, train staff on video best practices, enhance production facilities and develop formats optimized for online video.
- Supporting news publishers:
YouTube is significantly expanding its team focused on supporting news publishers. These specialists will be based around the world and support partners with training and best practices in formats, audience development, day-to-day platform operations, and sophisticated technical integrations.
Publishers interested in more information about the News efforts by YouTube can sign up here.