What Youtube’s New “News Experience” Means for Independent Journalism

Jackson Heiting

7:30 AM EST | July 12, 2018

In an attempt to stop the spread of fake news and conspiracy theories on its site, YouTube announced that they will be changing how breaking and top news stories will appear on their app and website. This also includes dropping $25 million dollars on news sources to improve their use of the website to spread breaking news more efficiently. However, with YouTube throwing all of their eggs in the MSM’s basket, what does this mean for smaller YouTube Channels?

Well that is a hard question to answer weather smaller news channels will be taking a hit. However, if one thing is clear, it is that YouTube has given some of Mainstream Media’s heaviest hitters the green light in this new endeavor. These include Vox, Fox News, NBC, CNN, and USA Today. This means when videos about new or breaking news are uploaded by these news sources, the videos will be on the top of the list, making it difficult for smaller or independent journalists to be seen by the public. 

YouTube will also be using Google News to get news articles into the public eye. As it sounds, Google will find news articles that they find reliable and relevant and put links to the articles under the news videos that you are watching. In a time when many journalism outlet’s reputation is in question, throwing news articles from the MSM outlets into YouTube may be going too far. 

One thing that could be problematic is that YouTube will be bumping Major News Network’s videos up in recommended and trending feeds even though they may have not been the first to report the news or they don’t have the most views on their videos. This will make it harder for other news outlets to get noticed and recognized on the website.  

In conclusion It is apparent that YouTube is trying to make sure that MSM is put first in your feed while at the same time not potentially showing you smaller news outlets that may have differing opinions or stances on topics that are relevant to you. This could be a dangerous road for YouTube to go down, as many people use YouTube for their main source of news coverage and burying videos of differing views may be seen as an attack on independent journalism.

Jackson Heiting is a current College student in the state of Wisconsin, where he studies Computer Science and Leadership. He is currently a writer for Drained Media and has been an active participant in many elections both locally and on the national level.

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