Google, YouTube Give Citizen Journalists New Tools

Google has a firm grip on the news industry. With Google News, its monstrous news aggregator, and examples such as the recent explosion of citizen journalism covering the conflict in Iran, Google is giving traditional print journalism a run for its money. Now it hopes to partner with some big names in news to create a community of journalists called The YouTube Reporters' Center, a project that may result in the industry contributing to its own demise.

The YouTube Reporters' Center hosts video content that includes a piece on how to interview well by CBS' Katie Couric; a piece on how to document a global humanitarian crisis by The New York Times' Nick Kristof; and even a piece with tips on investigative journalism by legendary Watergate reporter Bob Woodward.

The purpose of this endeavor is to assist citizen journalists with effective means of stepping up his/her game when it comes to grabbing information as it unfolds and presenting it like a professional.

This project will surely pump up the effectiveness and accuracy of citizen journalism, which is notorious for sloppiness and a biased tilt. However, it may further drive nails into traditional journalism's coffin, as more independent reporters will have better skills for, well, honing in on other people's jobs.

At the same time, bolstering the abilities of citizen journalism could revolutionize the industry, creating a broader community of skilled reporters capable of as-it-happens documentation of world news. As print papers fold left and right, and newspaper's international branches closing due to budget cuts, Google's ambition to support citizens could have a far-reaching positive impact.

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