Both Amazon and YouTube have brought additions to their sites that have the potential to have a huge impact in the not-too-distant future.
YouTube created a channel exclusively for investigative news. The channel is meant to boost exposure of news among all the cute animals and armature musicians. The site will partner with the Center for Investigative Reporting for the channel, according to Tech Crunch.
TechCrunch reported that the new “I Files” channel will curate videos from sources such as The New York Times and Al Jazeera, in an attempt to bring attention to the fledgling investigative journalism space and strengthen YouTube’s multi-million dollar venture into professional content.
The project is being seeded by an $800,000 grant from the Knight foundation. “I Files” will share revenue with its content partners.
A report was released last year by the FCC on the decline of journalists covering local politics, and speculated about the possible corruption and negligence going unnoticed. This is a major reason the Knight Foundation is pushing for a philanthropy-funded investigative initiative.
YouTube could potentially offset the problem with user-generated content and by incentivizing the CIR’s national partners, such as the BBC, with some added viewership, the tech news site states.
Whether the push will gain enough attention is still to be seen. However, the effort can be a solution that will catch the U.S. and U.K. up to other countries where citizen journalism is very prevalent—and maybe even legitimizes public journalism further.
“We highlight all kinds of news content from time to time on the site, and often highlight new channels,” a YouTube spokesperson told TechCrunch. “So you can expect that in the first few weeks after launch we’ll look for opportunities on YouTube and social media to tell more people about it.”
Amy Mitchell, deputy director of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism told Digital Journal, “The YouTube platform offers a new form of video journalism. Individuals can bear witness to events in a new and powerful way. As with other social and web-based media it also allows people to watch these moments on their own agenda, and to share them with others.”
Meanwhile, Amazon has launched its instant video app for iPad, according to CNN. Already on the Kindle Fire, the iOS version debuted on Wednesday.
The app lets you buy and stream videos from the company. Amazon claims to have a library of 120,000 videos available to users. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you have 17,000 of them at your fingertips for free.
Users can also download purchased and rented videos from Your Video Library and watch them offline via a Wifi connection.
According to CNN, Amazon Instant Video was introduced in early 2011 and was initially available on Mac, PC, Roku, TiVo and a variety of Internet-connected TV and Blu-ray players.
The streaming capability has been added to subscriptions for Amazon Prime, a $79 annual program that offers free shipping and free streaming video, to entice consumers to sign up.
The service is considered a rival to Netflix and Hulu, which made Hulu Plus available on AppleTV on Tuesday.