In any discussion of what is changing the journalism industry, YouTube seems to inevitably come up. “But it’s where I went to see footage after the earthquake in Japan!” “It’s an open video portal that allows anyone to upload news!” While YouTube is, as previously pointed out, a fellow competitor for timeshare, it is not a replacement for any national newspaper. When a major news story happens, the vast majority considers a multitude of other sources to check for information before they might go to YouTube later to watch something again.
It is not that YouTube serves no function to journalism. It is indeed a vital tool to put videos from citizen journalists demonstrating protestors getting shot in the streets, for example. But as a primary news source? What channel on YouTube, short of some smaller news organizations that use YouTube for hosting all of their video, is going to keep somebody fully informed? There is an utter lack of highly noted news vlogs. The Young Turks? The mainstream has never even heard of them. Even Democracy Now is rather niche compared to goliaths like Glenn Beck or Rachel Maddow, and it is certainly more well known than any random person’s news vlog on YouTube.
So, yes, YouTube is certainly an important platform that is chipping away at part of mainstream journalism, but as far as harming the traditional journalism corporations, it is not even as significant as Craigslist, let alone blogs. There a multitude of factors placing journalism in flux right now, and it is important to step back and gain some perspective.