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Oct. 18, 2023, 2:36 p.m.
Audience & Social
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Sarah Scire   |   October 18, 2023

YouTube has introduced a new watch page to help users get information from “authoritative” news sources — especially in times of “elections, unrest, and natural disasters.”

The new news watch page isn’t curated by a human editor. Like the platform’s search results, the content is “algorithmically generated and dynamic,” YouTube spokesperson Elena Hernandez confirmed. The page will pull together long-form video, live streams, podcasts, and Shorts on news stories on one page.

But the new watch page — along with its existing Top News and Breaking News shelves — only show content from “authoritative” news organizations. In a sample GIF provided, that included outlets like the Associated Press, Sky News, PBS News Hour, ABC News, and CBS Evening News.

The announcement comes as tech companies facet renewed criticism over not doing enough to slow the proliferation of misinformation on their platforms. The EU, for example, is formally investigating the site formerly known as Twitter over content about the war between Israel and Hamas.

To visit the new YouTube news hub, you’ll have to click on a video with a pink-ish newspaper icon from the homepage or search results from a mobile device. On Wednesday morning, I searched for news about the explosion at a hospital in Gaza and found the icon on stories filed under the broader Israel-Palestine conflict.

“This feature is rolling out over time for mobile users in approximately 40 countries, with desktop and living room integration to come,” wrote YouTube’s director of news and civics partnerships Brandon Feldman and director of product management Geoff Samek in a blog post. “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.”

Also on Wednesday, YouTube announced “the Shorts Innovation Program for News,” a new program that’ll dole out $1.6 million in financial grants and specialist support directly to newsrooms.

Initial participants will be 20 organizations across 10 countries, selected for having a notable long-form video presence on YouTube but that have yet to embrace short-form news formats. (Other media companies, like ESPN, have already leaned into Shorts.) The news organizations include Univision in the U.S., AFP in France, and Mediacorp in Singapore.

You can read more about the new initiatives here.

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