The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism examined 15 months' worth of the most popular news videos on YouTube, which revealed "that a complex, symbiotic relationship has developed between citizens and news organizations on YouTube, a relationship that comes close to the continuous journalistic 'dialogue' many observers predicted would become the new journalism online."
Pew analyzed some 260 videos between January 2011 and March 2012, identifying and tracking the five most viewed each week on the site's news and politics channel, noting the nature of the videos, topics viewed most often and who produced and posted each.
Pew reports that news organizations "are taking advantage of citizen content and incorporating it into their journalism. Consumers, in turn, seem to be embracing the interplay in what they watch and share, creating a new kind of television news. At the same time, clear ethical standards have not developed on how to attribute the video content moving through the synergistic sharing loop."
"For the news industry," Pew noted, "the growth of YouTube and other video sharing sites represent a significant opportunity and also a challenge. News producers can use the site to grow their audience, find citizen-created videos, build their brand and generate revenue. At the same time, video-sharing sites are yet another platform they must understand — and to which they must adapt."