YouTube to connect 'citizen journalists' with media outlets

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YouTube launched a free tool on Tuesday that allows news organizations to highlight newsworthy video footage from "citizen journalists" on their websites.

The Huffington Post, National Public Radio, Politico, the San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post are among the US media outlets which have signed up to use "YouTube Direct."

"Almost any event that takes place today has a chance of being captured on camera," Steve Grove, the head of news and politics at YouTube, said in a blog post, citing newsworthy events such as earthquakes, fires and other disasters.

YouTube Direct allows news organizations to "connect directly with citizen reporters on our site so they broadcast this footage and bring it to a larger audience," Grove said.

Media organizations can use the interface to "request, review and rebroadcast YouTube clips directly from YouTube users," he said.

Media outlets can enable a customized version of YouTube's upload platform on their websites and use it to review video submissions and select the best ones for use.

The video would appear on YouTube and on the media organization's website.

Grove said YouTube Direct was not only aimed at connecting "citizen journalists" with news outlets.

He said it could also be used by businesses to solicit promotional videos, by nonprofits and by politicians seeking user-generated political commercials.