YouTube’s new news hub directs you towards reliable sources

At a time when misinformation is rife on many platforms and is arguably even incentivized in some cases, YouTube is doing more to try and direct users to reliable sources of news. The platform is doing so on two fronts.

First, YouTube is rolling out a dedicated, immersive hub for news. This page will pull together news from “authoritative sources” in several formats: video on demand, live streams, podcasts and Shorts. The aim, according to YouTube, is to help users learn more about a topic or story from several sources and angles and to make it easy for them to explore an issue in depth.

You can access the watch page for a topic or story by clicking on a relevant video that features a newspaper icon on the YouTube home page or in search results. YouTube is starting to roll it out on mobile in around 40 countries. The feature will eventually land on desktop and connected TV apps. “We believe this updated news experience will help viewers access a range of credible and diverse voices when they want to dive into a news topic,” Brandon Feldman, YouTube’s director of news and civics partnerships, and Geoff Samek, director of product management for news, wrote in a blog post.

In addition, YouTube has established a program to bolster news organizations’ ability to create short-form videos. The Shorts Innovation Program for News is designed to help those that already have a strong track record of publishing long-form news videos but perhaps need more resources and expertise to improve their Shorts offerings.

Initially, YouTube will split $1.6 million in funding between more than 20 news organizations in 10 countries. Over the next year, specialists will offer advice on Shorts content strategy and best practices to outlets such as Univision in the US, AFP in France and Mediacorp in Singapore.

“Now more than ever, we remain committed to connecting people to high-quality information they can trust, particularly in times of elections, unrest and natural disasters,” Feldman and Samek wrote. “In today’s digital news landscape, viewers are increasingly seeking out many different types of content, and we’re seeing newsrooms and journalists evolve to meet that need.”

Some notable platforms, such as Threads, are shying away from promoting news content in feeds. Meanwhile, X (formerly Twitter) is making it harder to find legitimate news on the platform. Practically anyone can be “verified” these days, not just notable public figures, which arguably makes impersonation more of a problem. Headlines and snippets no longer appear in link cards, while a recent decision to allow more newsworthy content that otherwise breaks the rules to remain on the platform could increase misinformation. On that note, the EU is investigating X over its handling of misinformation related to the Israel-Hamas war. 

YouTube’s own record with handling misinformation has been spotty over the years. Along with this news initiative, it’s tackling that problem on other fronts, such as with an effort to clamp down on cancer misinformation.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at 

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