YouTube Challenges Local Television News
by Frank Beacham, 09.18.2009
It was bound to happen. As local television stations fired their news staffs, cut back resources and pooled footage with other stations in their own markets, competitors began to assert themselves.
This spring, Google—long the bane of the print news business—decided local news was ripe for the picking. Using it’s free YouTube video distribution service—what it already calls “the biggest news platform in the world,”—Google launched “News Near You.” It’s a clever idea.
Using the Internet address of a visitor’s personal computer to determine its physical location, YouTube then searches its database of stories within a 100-mile radius and displays them in a visual menu. Seven days worth of local video stories are always displayed.
As the number of local stories increases, the mileage radius will become smaller—and thus more local. Eventually, YouTube will be able to assemble a local newscast on the fly for any area of the country. It already does that with national news.