Monday, June 29, 2009

YouTube Opens Channel For Traditional Journalists To Offer Reporting Advice

A few hours ago YouTube debuted a "Reporters Center:"

I found it via Nick Kristof's New York Times' blog, On The Ground. YouTube has gathered "some of the nation's top journalists" and given them a channel with which to tell the rest of us how to report news.

It feels odd.

First, it seems to promote journalists as celebrities. I think that who is reporting news should take a back seat to news being reported. Although there's something to be said for respecting journalists with good reporting reputations.

Second, good reporting isn't just about how you report, but what you report. Mainstream media journalists sometimes seem beholden to their sponsors in their story selection. Example - What mainstream outlets are covering the news about the Endocrine Society's landmark statement? It may be niche, but it's news. It makes me wonder if agriculture or petrochemical companies - who risk losing face and revenue if this story makes headlines - have some sway.

Lastly, what are Couric, Kristof, and Woodward doing on a grassroots media outlet like YouTube? Is this some concession by CBS, the New York Times, and the Washington Post? Maybe traditional reporters are trying to stay relevant? (Maybe YouTube received financial incentive from these traditional reporting groups to promote their journalists?)

Here's NPR's Scott Simon from YouTube's Reporters Center. "There are a few qualities that any story should have..."


1 comment:

Angela and Melinda said...

What a refreshingly "old-school" approach you take, Bix! I'm with you all the way.