YouTube has become a global news platform, according to a study. The company's own statistics say that 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and the site gets more than 4 billion views a day.
Conducted by the Pew Research's Project for Excellence in Journalism, the study found that in four separate months of 2011, users searched YouTube for current events more than anything. Pew examined the most popular videos in the "News and Politics" channel over a 15-month period, from January 2011 to March 2012.
"One of the things that emerges here is the power of bearing witness as a part of a news consumption process," said Amy Mitchell, deputy director of the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. "Many of the most viewed stories that we're looking at here have real powerful imagery around them."
Videos of the Japanese earthquake garnered almost 100 million views in the week following the disaster. Other high-ranking topics included Russia's elections and Middle East unrest.
About 39 percent of the videos examined came from citizens, and 51 percent had a news organization logo but may have also incorporated YouTube shots. Five percent came from corporate and political groups. Edited footage proved more popular than raw footage, 58 percent to 42 percent, Pew found.
mkg/mz (dpa, AP, AFP)