If you're interested in using YouTube to get a quality, on-the-ground perspective of a current event, good luck. For every one video that's worth watching, there are at least five poorly shot ones standing in your way that aren't.
To help with that, YouTube is teaming up with Storyful to create YouTube Newswire, a curated service that cuts the crap, so to speak, by surfacing the user-submitted videos that best illustrate current events.
This isn't just an initiative to save the average YouTube dwellers a few seconds every day. During major events in recent history, such as the Tahrir Square protests, the Boston Marathon bombing and the earthquake in Nepal, many people have utilized the video site to share their first-person perspectives to the rest of the world. The only problem was, those important videos faced the possibility of never being discovered in the pool of so many other millions of videos.
With Newswire, the video site is making it easier to find the videos that matter the most, not just for curious viewers, but also for news journalists looking for the most accurate depiction of an event to provide for their audiences.
The motivations expressed by YouTube to create this service lead me to believe that Newswire is for good. But as someone who's seen one-too-many fictional depictions of a company with too much control of a message, I can't help but worry just a little bit. Worrying aside, I'll be eager to give YouTube Newswire a try as future events unfold.