YouTube CEO Says Journalists Needed Now More Than Ever

Nov 132012
  • CNN's Wolf Blitzer (left) and Coca-Cola's Ben Deutsch (right) congratulate YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar (center) for his company's receipt of the News Innovation Award.

Washington – The top executive of YouTube said the online video platform has made it possible for more information to instantly reach the far corners of the world, but that journalists are needed to put that information in context and “make sense of it all.”

YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar made the remarks in accepting the International Center for Journalists’ 2012 News Innovation Award at a gala ceremony in Washington. The award is given for pioneering work that promotes the free flow of news and the open exchange of ideas.

Kamangar said YouTube videos provide “immediate and unfiltered information about what is happening on the ground.” He said they also allow the world to see events as they unfold in places that were previously inaccessible, like Syria.

He said YouTube is introducing further innovations to help surface the best content – such as organizing channels so that people can follow the names they trust and adding auto-captioning so that videos can be instantly translated into dozens of languages.

But “now that anyone can instantly link, embed, tweet, and retweet, upload and comment, we are flooded with often recycled news and information,” he said. “We need YOU to provide the analysis and context that only people who have dedicated their lives to this craft can bring.”

“We’re proud to have built a platform where the world shares its video. But we are really, really thankful to have you to help us make sense of it all.”

YouTube was among three winners honored at the ICFJ Awards Dinner. Kenyan radio correspondent Kassim Mohamed, who reported on Somali pirates, and Sami Mahdi, an Afghan television journalist who has exposed violent abuses against women, were winners of the Knight International Journalism Awards.