YouTube CEO: We're Not Simplifying Journalism - We're Changing It

(As prepared for delivery.)

Thank you. On behalf of everyone at YouTube, I want to say how proud we are to accept the News Innovation Award.

We are an unusual recipient, because we're not journalists. But we are news junkies. In fact, that new face-blurring technology you just saw mentioned was started by one of our engineers working in his 20% time. So thank you to ICFJ for recognizing him and all of us at YouTube in this way.

I'm going to now cover what YouTube has done, is doing and can't do, as it relates to news. And I’m going to try to do it in less time than the average YouTube video. And since the average YouTube video also involves cats or dogs or babies, I've invited two of my associates to join me, so that you have the full YouTube experience.

The video we watched does a great job summarizing how innovation in online video has helped transform the news space.

Every day on YouTube, 7000 hours of news-related video are uploaded.

Through these videos, people have immediate and unfiltered information about what's happening on the ground … like when hurricane Sandy hit last month and a YouTube user caught the explosion of an electricity substation on video.

Through these videos, information is reaching more corners of the world. Our new live streaming technologies mean that a national broadcaster like ABC News can become international - streaming the presidential debates to over 200 countries and territories. Or that The Weather Channel can reach a global audience with its disaster coverage of Hurricane Sandy.

And through these videos, farther corners of the world are reaching us. In Syria, uncredentialed, anonymous reporters have risked - and lost - their lives to provide coverage for events never before witnessed on the global stage. Other countries have long heard U.S. perspectives on the world - now we get a better chance to hear theirs.

That's the good news about online video. But here's the bad: now that anyone can instantly link, embed, tweet, and retweet, upload and comment, we are flooded with often recycled news and information. So we don't think for one minute that we're simplifying the challenge of journalism; it's more that we’re changing it.

As the flow of information grows, much of it on our own platform, we recognize that the work of the people in this room is more important than ever. We need YOU to provide the analysis and context that only people who have dedicated their lives to this craft can bring. And our viewers count on it.

But there are a few things YouTube can do to help surface the best content.

Recently we’ve been organizing the site around channels so people can follow names that they can trust - like a CNN or a Washington Post - more easily - and it's contributed to a large increase in people using the site in this way.

We’re adding auto-captioning so their work can be instantly translated into dozens of languages, so that stories like the journalism behind Watergate can be an example to the whole world, not just America.

And we’re helping news organizations go multimedia - like partnering with news outlets like the New York Times and the Associated Press to distribute programming for YouTube.

In summary, as ICFJ recognises YouTube’s contribution to news, we at YouTube want to recognize and support all the work you do. 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.

Thank you again for this award.