A couple of years back, we reported that Google is planning to fight fake news in the wake of waning print media, and diverse political point of views on YouTube’s platform in Europe with its Digital News Initiative. DNI is a platform where Google is trying to enhance the video format of Online/Digital news content. Their focus in on three critical areas of journalism, like –
– Product development:
Develop innovative products to help journalism like YouTube Player for Publishers.
– Innovation Fund
Provide an innovation fund to support and stimulate innovation
– Training & Research
YouTube is investing in training and development resources for journalists and newsrooms across the world.
Last Monday, after having over 100 publishers in more than 25 countries use Player for Publishers, YouTube made a major announcement on its official blog regarding how YouTube is going to be affected by Digital News Initiative.
Now, YouTube is committing $25 million investment for creators and channels all over the world.
This announcement is basically the STAGE-2 (Innovation Fund) for their Digital News Initiative that they stared in Europe.
This investment is divided into three criteria’s.
This is the group with established news organizations like Vox Media, India Today and CNN. These news organizations will help YouTube to develop new product features, improve the news experience and tackle new challenges.
YouTube will provide funding for more than 20 global markets to support news organizations building sustainable video operations. This funding will enable partners to build key capabilities, train staff on video best practices, enhance production facilities and develop formats optimized for online video. The funding will be on the basis of applications filed by news organizations.
There will be a team dedicated to every news publisher around the world. These specialists will support partners with training and optimization skills for their news organizations.
NEW YOUTUBE FEATURES
SOURCES AND CONTEXT ON BREAKING NEWS:
YouTube is the only video platform in the world where more than 1 billion users try to grasp News through verified sources and channels like CNN, FOX, AAJ TAK, etc. But, this is also the place where there are thousands of conspiracy theories videos with a dedicated YouTube channel.
YouTube channels like The Alex Jones Channel, Paul Joseph Watson, and others create conspiracy content that has zero sources and acts as an engine for generating fake news and rumors. These conspiracy channels take advantage of breaking news events where it takes time to verify, produce and publish high-quality videos for journalists. Thus, changing this habit of news consumption should be the first step for Youtube’s Fake News Fight.
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.
EXPANDING TOP NEWS AND BREAKING NEWS
This feature is created to counter YouTube’s “Top News” section where we get a mix of recommendations from an independent creator and verified news channels. To eliminate this confusion, YouTube incorporated “Breaking News shelf,” that highlights videos from news organizations about an event directly on the YouTube homepage.
At present, these two features are now launched in 17 countries, including the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria and more.
SHOWCASING MORE LOCAL NEWS – ONLY IN U.S
As per the Pew Research Center, only about two-in-ten Americans (22%) trust the information they get from local news organizations than national news broadcasters. This is because, when any major event happens, local news are the first ones to cover the incident.
To support this, YouTube is testing features that surface local news in the YouTube app for TV screens across 25 media markets around the United States
In the world of news reporting, the source of information is crucial. Even for vague questions like “Is the world flat” needs an explanation from a reliable source to provide understandable evidence.
This is why, YouTube is adding information from third party sources like Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica, alongside thousands of video’s concerning historical and scientific topics.
INVESTING IN DIGITAL LITERACY EDUCATION
YouTube teamed up with 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 with the help of famous YouTubers.
Death of Fake News?
No. YouTube will never label videos as Fake News even if their algorithms push conspiracy-theory videos up to the top of search results. The only major change through this initiative is to provide a reliable source of information along with the videos so that we can judge the reliability of the content. These features are just the beginning of Youtube’s Fake News Fight and we expect them to release more tools by the end of this quarter.
Being an artist, movie buff and a media enthusiast, content writing is my career train. I am a proud alumni of Symbiosis Institute of Media Communication (Pune) and currently working for Vidooly.