YouTube Project: Report

In its latest effort to encourage more serious use of YouTube, the online video sharing site owned by Google announced Project: Report.

In partnership with the Pulitzer Center, YouTube presents Project: Report, a journalism contest (made possible by Sony VAIO & Intel) intended for non-professional, aspiring journalists to tell stories that might not otherwise be told. In each of the three rounds, reporters will be given an assignment to complete. Winners of each round will receive technology prizes from Sony VAIO & Intel, and the grand prize winner will be granted a $10,000 journalism fellowship with the Pulitzer Center to report on a story abroad.

I’ve used YouTube to create Sri Lanka’s first and to date only citizen journalism video channel. Using YouTube for over two years, it’s been encouraging to see interface / UI developments, increases in file storage and uploads, better quality, better integration with social networking sites, and more recently, sub-title and multi-lingual narration support. I’ve used a lot of online video sharing sites and while many others give better quality from the get-go, YouTube still wins hands-down on its sheer reach. 


YouTube Project: Report

As Mashable notes however,

Why doesn’t Google add another 0 to the grand prize money pot, and announce reward quality serial news producers with smaller payments capable of sustaining the very draining lifestyle of news content production? It isn’t as if Google doesn’t have a machine in their basement that almost literally prints cash – they’re hands down the largest and most watched company on the Internet that has a hand in video distribution.

Emphasis mine. Video production is hugely resource intensive – both financial and human. A significant challenge to more serious content populating the likes of YouTube is that citizen journalists simply cannot afford to create, edit and upload content that interrogates the world they live in. Mashable’s suggestion addresses this and if adopted by YouTube / Google, could see more professional videos on serious issues competing with the drivel that one often finds on the site. 
Of enduring value here are tips on creating a good profile piece and tips for the roving video journalist.

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