STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Pew Study: Great News! … YouTube Reports Tap the Mainstream Media
By Staff News & Analysis - July 17, 2012

YouTube Now Key Source for News Junkies: Pew … Since its online debut in early 2005, YouTube continues to grow as a news outlet for people who are expanding the ways in which they consume news coverage, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. And as that happens, YouTube is creating "a new kind of visual journalism" that is sometimes blurring the line between content created by official news organizations, "citizen journalists" or others, according to Pew. Ultimately, while this means that more people are being exposed to news of world events, it's also raising questions about whether those video reports are always receiving the proper attribution and context that they should have, according to the study. – eWeek

Dominant Social Theme: Wow, the electronic revolution is definitely making advances. CBS, ABC and NBC are all making advances on YouTube.

Free-Market Analysis: So Pew has discovered YouTube news. This means two things. One, the quality of honest news is going down on YouTube. Two, mainstream news is now becoming popular enough on YouTube for Pew to mention it.

Pew was founded by oil company heirs but like almost all philanthropic organizaions, it's become increasingly socialist in its stance and mission.

Efforts are focused on reducing the scope and severity of three major global environmental problems:

  • Destruction of the world's oceans, with a particular emphasis on marine fisheries.
  • The loss of large wilderness ecosystems that contain a great part of the world's remaining biodiversity.
  • Changes to the Earth's physical and biological systems linked to the buildup of greenhouse gases that are altering the world's climate.

What a surprise, eh? Another foundation concerned with global warming. There's plenty of evidence that global warming doesn't exist, or if it does exist that human beings and human-generated carbon have little or nothing to do with it. But like so many other foundations, Pew is concerned with the "build up of greenhouse gases."

The reality is that almost any large foundation with a historical track record has likely been taken over by a power elite that utilizes US foundation assets (in particular) to focus on the advance of globalism. These elites that want to formally run the world create a specific agenda for most foundations to support.

Global warming – discredited as it is – is one part of this larger agenda. The elites tend to try to control modern events via dominant social themes that frighten middle classes into giving up power and wealth to international facilities like the United Nations.

Climate change is just such an apparent manipulation, promising the powers-that-be a good deal of control of people's energy use via both voluntary and legislative measures. For Pew's leaders to be focusing on global warming or climate change simply shows that the top elites have penetrated the foundation's agenda and replaced its agenda with their own.

Within this context, then, we analyze Pew's sudden pronouncement about YouTube. The "study" that Pew has done has received a lot of coverage on the Internet; this is another giveaway of the predisposition of the powers-that-be to welcome Pew's coverage in this area.

And why should they do that? Because the study provides YouTube with additional credibility at a time when it is apparently transitioning from a repository of alternative media reports to one that supports and promotes a mainstream orientation. Here's some more:

While it's not yet viewed at the much higher rates of traditional television news reports, YouTube is providing video news content that's being watched by a growing segment of users.

"What this first and foremost offers is another platform, another path, where people can get news and information in a different way from network or cable news," said Amy Mitchell, the deputy director of the Pew Excellence in Journalism project. But because YouTube.com doesn't create any of the content on the Website, the video news submissions are posted without any editing or review by YouTube.The site does offer suggested guidelines for attribution for the videos, but it is advisory and not mandatory.

A key result of this, according to the study's conclusions, "is that clear ethical protocols about attribution have not developed and users may at times have no clear way of knowing the source." That needs to continue to evolve, said Mitchell. "Attribution still needs to be better." The new study, "YouTube and News: A New Kind of Visual News," examined 15 months' worth of the most popular news videos from January 2011 through March 2012, according to Pew.

"When new media appears, people use them to add to their news sources," said Mitchell. "This has happened before. They turn to local television for one kind of news, to local newspapers for another kind and to sites like YouTube for other news. It's broadening the way people get news, but it doesn't mean they are giving up one for another." Since much of what viewers see on YouTube is from network news departments, it's the same content but just in a different forum.

If one parses these statements, we'd argue there's a tinge of palpable relief. While YouTube is becoming an outlet for additional news, "it doesn't mean [viewers] are giving up one [media] for another." Whew! Thank goodness …

The elites that control current media forms but do not control the content of the Internet, obviously find this trend encouraging. They evidently and obviously want to extend their supervision of the mainstream media to the Internet.

This is not merely an observation but is borne out by governmental interference in YouTube postings. The phenomenon of government requests to YouTube for removal of various posts has expanded dramatically in the past years. Here's an excerpt from a June 2012 report on YouTube removals via a Gigaom.com:

Google says US government takedown requests have doubled in last six months … New data released by Google shows that US government requests to remove search results, YouTube videos and other content has increased by 103 percent in the last half year. The company also released takedown information from around the world that show countries targeting everything from social network profiles to a citizen peeing on a passport.

The information was disclosed in the latest update to the Transparency Report, Google's ongoing project to show who is removing information from the internet and why. Google recently added a section on copyright removals and, since 2010, has been providing real time information about traffic restrictions. The latest information, released Sunday in a Google blog post, provides fresh data about takedown requests from governments.

… The Google report shows that democratic countries as well as authoritarian ones are asking to remove content. Spanish regulators, for instance, asked to remove 270 search results that linked to blogs and newspaper articles about politicians and public figures. In Poland, a business development agency asked Google to remove search results that linked to criticism of the agency.

Meanwhile, the eWeek article on the Pew study makes no mention of the increased aggressiveness of various nations when it comes to removing material that might be embarrassing either to public policy or those who administer it. And these occurrences are not exactly resisted by Google, which is in many cases is acting as a facilitator for even deeply questionable "disappearances."

None of this is hypothetical, and if Pew had wanted to do a credible study on YouTube information, it would have focused more on YouTube's facilitation of government censorship and less on YouTube's adoption of mainstream media reporting. Here's a feedback posted in the queue below the story:

A few years back; I had a YouTube account which presented about 20 videos voicing a wide ranging series of political critiques of the Bush Administration, war on Iraq, death of Kelly, UK/US war crimes, Police use of Taser, Water-boarding torture and such with a total of at least 2 million views.

That channel was removed without reference and I was unable to get any response for YouTube as for the justification despite my far-reaching efforts. At the same time my computer was infected with an unknown and sophisticated 'virus,' which had the effect of deleting all data files from its two separate hard-drives. All media was lost along with the established YouTube user profile and it credible volume of view counts.

From this experience I suspect many more 'politically contentious' videos are removed than the Google own report suggests. The 'terrorism' and 'copyright' justifications are a red-herring. This is censorship of the most pernicious kind and its mechanisms are being established so to appear as the norm at which point, perhaps when expedient, all contentious material will be routinely deleted (followed no doubt by a visit from a re-branded version of the Stasi). – EU Brainwashing (Monday, June 18 2012)

The Pew study voices satisfaction with the adoption of mainstream media coverage … but is this not evidence of misplaced priorities? At a time when censorship and intimidation is increasingly wielded by governments against citizens, providing an alternative narrative is a courageous act. Those participating often do so at risk to themselves and anonymity is probably important if they wish to continue.

For the Pew study not to recognize this and to, instead, identify anonymity as a problem is only indicative of Pew's elite bias. What Pew has done in this study is ascertain a negative trend – the increased penetration of government-controlled news on YouTube and report on it as if it were a beneficial development.

Despite the best efforts of YouTube censors and government gatekeepers, many YouTube videos continue to provide clear evidence rebutting elite globalism and the various dominant social themes they utilize. Pew ignores this phenomenon and instead celebrates the expansion of government-oriented media.

What those who constructed this survey for Pew may not understand is that such a trend contains the seeds of its own destruction. If and when YouTube is overwhelmed by elite-controlled government messaging there will be many who shall seek another outlet and withdraw their viewership.

What Pew and YouTube managers may conceive of as a necessary evolution may instead mark the facility's decline– both in credibility and usefulness. An example that comes to mind is Digg. Over the past several years, Digg's managers spent a great deal of effort removing or otherwise downgrading articles about libertarian/conservative president candidate Ron Paul and other free-market oriented information.

After Thoughts

Once Digg was worth over US$ 60 million according to market indications. Recently, it was sold for US$ 500,000. The Internet is a process not an episode.

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