With authoritative news sources facing a crisis in the U.S. and digital competition bearing more than a little responsibility, YouTube announced it will spend $25 million to support news organizations and also take measures to combat the spread of fake news on its own platform.
The $25 million investment will help news organization around the globe adapt and profit from a video-centric world. A working group that includes Vox Media and India Today will help YouTube create new products for news organizations and improve the experience for viewers. YouTube will also provide direct funding in 20 markets to help news organizations create sustainable video operations in-house. These grants will help employees learn best practices for video, build up their production systems, and create formats that appeal to online video viewers. Finally, YouTube will provide support for news organizations through an expanded team of experts. This team will help news organization apply best practices and grow audience development initiatives.
Like Facebook, YouTube is owning up to its role in spreading fake news, and is taking steps to promote authoritative sources. Fake news creators take advantage of breaking news, for example, by creating sensationalist videos that rise to the top of searches before authoritative videos are available. Because reporters often publish articles before creating video reports, YouTube will offer short news previews on breaking news searches. These previews will link to full articles. Look for this to start in a few weeks. YouTube will also feature trusted news sources prominently on its homepage and in search results. It’s already begun featuring trusted local news sources in its TV app.
Combatting false information goes beyond the day’s news, which is why YouTube will include links to third parties such as Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia on topics often beset with conspiracy theories, such as the moon landing.
Viewers following an Encyclopaedia Britannica link will see the publication’s usual entry, as well as information prepared for them such as a quick summary of what is and isn’t known about the topic. The ideas is to engage the curious and give them context for creating informed opinions.
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