YouTube has stood out among similar content-sharing video sites in providing a haven for citizen journalists, who have helped document game-changing events worldwide such as the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring. Google has used YouTube’s popularity among citizen journalists by launching CitizenTube, an original channel that aggregates video content from multiple contributors worldwide.
On Monday, British news service ITN joined the bandwagon by launching its first citizen journalism channel on YouTube called Truthloader. The channel will feature a daily show of the same name hosted by Phil Harper showing some of the best videos of the day from around the world curated by social media experts and news professionals.
Harper tells viewers on YouTube: “We want you to suggest things to take a look at and we will seriously investigate them. That doesn’t mean we’re going to let our brains fall out of our ears but we will put together a decent report on your suggestions.”
Besides acting as a home for citizen journalism, Truthloader’s other programs include the weekly series “Truthloader Investigates,” which delves into the latest conspiracy theories that are riveting the world, and a weekly live debate show called “The Hangout,” where bloggers and citizen journalists discuss the latest issues over Skype and Google+ Hangouts.
Though they are far from evoking the independent spirit, channels like Truthloader and CitizenTube are giving citizen journalists and content creators a curated venue to show the world their first-person accounts of important current events.