Do You go to YouTube for News?
Traditionally YouTube has been associated with funny videos of cats and people bickering over the artistic merits (sic) of Justin Beiber. A new report from the Pew Research Center would have us believe that YouTube is however becoming a major platform for those wanting to catch up on the news.
They conducted their research over a 15 month period starting on January last year and found that of all the search queries typed into YouTube during that period, news related searches came out top in 5 of the 15 months.
The top ranked news event according to the research was the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Of the 260 videos posted into the news & politics section over the 15 month period, 5% related to the disaster, with the most watched video coming from a CCTV camera at Sendai airport that captured a nearby runway being engulfed by the flood waters.
The top three news videos were all of non-US events, which is perhaps not surprising given that 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside of America. After the Japanese earthquake came the Russian elections and the unrest in the Middle East.
Interestingly, people did not feature heavily in the most watched videos. "No one individual was featured in even 5 percent of the most popular videos studied here-and fully 65 percent did not feature any individual at all," Pew found.
President Obama was the most featured individual, appearing in 4% of the top videos, which ranged from speeches to campaign ads.
Of the videos examined by Pew, about 39 percent were from citizens, while 51 percent had a news organization logo. Edited footage was a bit more popular than raw footage at 58 percent to 42 percent, Pew found.
"The data reveal that a complex, symbiotic relationship has developed between citizens and news organizations on YouTube, a relationship that comes close to the continuous journalistic 'dialogue' many observers predicted would become the new journalism online."
Do you turn to YouTube for news?