CitizenTube: Is this the future of television news?


A year ago on the DRPR blog, we debated the future of newspapers which seemed to be doomed to extinction, making place for their online counterparts.

More recently, editor of Human Capital Magazine Iain Hopkins also questioned on the PRinks blog the future of his profession based on the fact that the internet and social media have opened up the way for basically anyone to publish anything.

Print media is having it tough… and I can only assume this debate will keep on going. But what about television news? Is it also threatened by amateur film makers in search of the next breaking news?

The launch earlier this week of YouTube’s CitizenTube might be just what will spark this debate.

CitizenTube selects and aggregates the latest ‘citizen news’ footage uploaded onto YouTube. Making the best use of social media, CitizenTube asks YouTube viewers to suggest videos to be uploaded onto CitizenTube via Twitter.

What will be interesting to see, in my opinion, is how fast the afternoon/evening news programs will be at picking up content from CitizenTube. Many morning and ‘soft news’ television programs include sections on most viewed YouTube videos and I can only assume the 5, 6 and 7pm news will follow that path with CitizenTube.

This being said, I can’t really see how CitizenTube would completely steal the spotlight over television news. At the end of the day, after having spent eight hours in front of my computer, sitting down on the couch and switching the ‘big’ screen on sounds quite appealing to me.

What do you think? Will social media and news sites like CitizenTube have a fatal effect on our evening news? Will television news also join their printed friends to the list of endangered species?



4 Responses to CitizenTube: Is this the future of television news?

  1. @gillasbury says:

    Great blog Kim!

    While I don’t imagine CitizenTube will overtake the tradition of sitting around the TV watching the evening news, I do anticipate that the ‘soft news’ as you mentioned will use CitizenTube as an easy and accessible resource for their own news content.

  2. Nicola Rutzou says:

    Very interesting developments for the world of news.

    I might be old fashioned but I think there’s still a major place for quality news reporting including the TV news and newspapers. By quality I mean the ABC. The commercial TV news has been ‘infotainment’ for a few years now and while it has a place it is becoming less and less relevant for most people.

    I also agree with your comment about getting away from the computer in your leisure time. Maybe for those who don’t have computers in front of them all day but I like to switch off from techno wizardry when I’m not at work.

  3. @Jace_Armstrong says:

    An interesting development in social media. I agree, I don’t think CitizenTube will steal the spotlight from the evening news either. I still feel that audiences value the quality filters that traditional news media offer – the ABC for example. People are always going to appreciate the training that journalists undertake in order to do their jobs effectively, and the stories that they are able to produce.

    As you say, there may be some pick-up of CitizenTube content for softer news stories. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. I’d say it become a supplement to traditional news, not act as a replacement. Interesting times for news media, and even more interesting for those in PR!

  4. Some of the CitizenTubers could gain high reputation and therefore could compete with the traditional information brokers and news guys.

    Anyway, we are facing the age of spam (or: we already live in this era) and we need beacons that guaranteee quality and valide news. I hope people are willing to pay for the services of these gatekeepers in the future. PR and amateur videos must not kill the established quality TV. Please, please!

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