Knight Center
Knight Center


YouTube's online coverage of Olympics portends new style of live news coverage

YouTube’s partnership with NBC to provide live-streaming video from the 2012 Olympics marks the latest phase in the video-sharing company’s development as a platform for visual journalism, according to Mashable. YouTube streamed the games online on behalf of the International Olympic Committee to 64 countries across Africa and Asia, reported GigaOM.

YouTube’s Olympic video platform included up to 100 simultaneous high-definition feeds to cover several events from multiple angles. Jason Gaedtke, YouTube’s director of software engineering, said the company is “intentionally blurring the line between live and video-on-demand,” with real-time video instantly becoming available for replay as soon as the event is over. According to Mashable, 1.5 million viewers tuned in online to watch the U.S. women’s gymnastics team win a gold medal.

“We certainly see strong demand in a couple verticals: gaming, sports, news increasingly — anything with a real-time or community-driven aspect to it seems to play well in this format,” Gaedtke noted, according to Poynter.

YouTube’s gravitas as a news source has been rising, blending citizen-produced content with traditional news sources in what the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism heralded as a “new kind of visual journalism.” Driven by strong participation from citizen journalists and bystanders, the new style is epitomized by a “complex, symbiotic relationship [that] has developed between citizens and news organizations.”

The video-sharing website also recently launched I Files, a YouTube channel curated by the Center for Investigative Reporting that posts investigative journalism videos from news outlets around the world.


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