How to Use YouTube For News

Sam Stevenson, James Arrich, Miranda Gonzalez

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YouTube. The social media sight where people go to waste countless hours of time watching ASMR videos and montages of hilarious try not to laugh videos.

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That of course isn’t the only purpose for YouTube. As a social media sight, YouTube has now found its way into the news sharing industry. It raises the question, of course: how do you use it for news?


Before cracking down on the how, we need to first analysis YouTube’s origin.

According to Engadget, YouTube was created in 2005 by by Jawed Karim, Steve Chen, and Chad Hurley. It was quickly bought by Google the following year and by 2012 it became a multi-billion dollar company.

According to Webwise, YouTube is a video sharing service where users can watch, like, share, comment and upload their own videos. The video service can be accessed on PCs, laptops, tablets and via mobile phones.

Users are able to determine what they choose to watch and set the guidelines and menu options on how it is delivered and received without the issue of verification.


The followers and wide range of users and viewers span across various demographic groups.Pew Research survey from 2018 findings suggest more than half of Americans are using YouTube for the purposes of purely entertainment (Pew Research, 2018). Interestingly enough, only 20% of Americans are using YouTube for understanding and learning about what’s happening around the world (Pew Research, 2018).


There’s a lot of ways to find news on YouTube. There’s a section known as “Trending” on YouTube that a user can click on to see what stories are currently trending.

There are also categories, similar to Twitter. The specific category labeled as “News” is a combination of both user generated channels as well as news organizations. Therefore, it does not seem to have much of a logical sequence or ranking to how the channels are organized, which lends to the overall appeal, although news and politics are of great importance.

Surprisingly, there are a total of 30 specific channels dedicated to news. One of the other appealing features of news promoted on the platform is the ability to view news sources from different countries. You are also able to find news in specific categories, like sports, entertainment, etc.

The news can be found right when you click on the website or the app. If you have the app, you are able to filter which videos you prefer to see when you first open it.

Other ways you can find news is by typing in the channel that you want to watch (ex. FOX News). Once you type in the channel, you will see the channel pop up and then you click on it. Once you click on the channel, you will see multiple videos being live streamed, as well as other videos you can watch.

You are able to share the video if you would like to. Right below the video you should see different options.

From there you are able to share live videos and recorded videos to anyone!


James: I interviewed my brother, David, and asked if he used YouTube to find or watch news. He answered that he does and that he believes that it is a lot easier to get news in present day from YouTube. I followed up with the question “Why is it easier?” and he replied, “I feel that with the use of live streaming, it has become more efficient to watch news that you might not be able to watch on your TV if you’re not home.

Sam: None of the people I interviewed really use Youtube for news. My parents, Dan Stevenson and Dede Stevenson, use the radio. They never really grew up with YouTube and don’t have any real reason to use it.

Aleyna Prehn, another COD student, also doesn’t use it, relying on Snapchat instead. She mentioned a Snapchat news story called “YouTuber News”, which dives into specific stories on YouTubers. It’s very comidical and opinionated, but I still found it relevant.

My older sister Rachel, a graduate of Florida State University who’s pursuing a career in speech pathology, uses Twitter. She said that she’s seen things on the “Trending” page, but if a story breaks she usually finds it on Twitter.

Miranda: Samuel Brown
Title: Educator — Career Education Corporation, Schaumburg, IL
During his interview, he stated that he did not use YouTube for news but gathered news from other sources such as
WGN, ABC, CNN, Google News, WTTW, local specific community forums such as SunTimes Media and Tribune,
and the Daily Skimm.
Mr. Brown stated that he was careful in selecting his news sources. He does understand that the platform has
expanded to include news and other outlets and stated that, “ I am not comfortable with trusting YouTube as a
valuable resource for reporting news.”
Mr. Brown has been using YouTube since 2006. He has a couple of channels for which neither have any active
postings, although the original intent for one was to post videos and podcasts and possibly stream. For the most part,
he will actively browse YouTube for interesting topics, DIY projects, boxing: events, training tips, interviews, film
study, educational topics, funny/light hearted videos and music.

David Parrish
Title: Instructor at COD, News content producer for NBC

During this interview, Mr. Parrish indicated that he receives push alerts from Twitter. He gathers news stories from: Sun Times Media, Tribune, and uses Twitter as an eye opener to stimulate interest and then uses other sources to validate and check news content. Mr. Parrish uses YouTube channel for posting personal content for his followers and for his students at College of DuPage.

Manny Lopez
Title : Digital Broadcast Journalism / TV production student and Courier TV employee @ College of DuPage

Manny started using YouTube in 2008 but did not start his own channel until 2011. He mentioned that he initially gathers his news from the Tribune or the Sun Times but stopped buying the local paper in 2013 when he moved back to Chicago. From then on, he monitored Google News to find stories or trending topics. He is excited to mention that he currently owns three different channels where he actively posts and he freelances for two other channels. And the three personal channels previously mentioned are strictly for information and entertainment and none are used for news. He is quoted in saying, “I rarely talk news because it’s usually depressing.” He also states that, “the two channels that I work for do talk about news and it’s always a struggle to post current information.” He also mentioned that both channel’s struggle to find news events that become breaking stories. Manny does not browse YouTube for News, stating that, “news is depressing and it’s usually about death or poli-TRICKS.” Lastly, he mentioned that, YouTube for him is to get entertainment or to gather a good laugh.

Alex Wiertelak
Title: Academic Advisor, College of Dupage
During the interview, he mentioned that he prefers watching news via a couple television outlets such as: NBC and ABC. He enjoys listening to WBBN News to gather news via radio format and if browsing the internet, he prefers Facebook and Twitter to receive updates. He uses YouTube mainly to follow CBS and CNN, and ABC if certain news segments are missed. He feels that it would be interesting to see YouTube live stream the news.


YouTube, while having many good qualities and benefits in news sharing, also faces its own problems. Because anyone can post anything, whether it be a reaction to a video, a fake video, or copyrighted content, YouTube struggles to regulate all of it.

Due to the nature of the platform, much of the news sometimes get confused with fake news reporting and much bias. Unfortunately, the built-in algorithms that are used by the platform suggest content that can be disturbing. YouTube is pretty good with censoring and age restrictions, but it can’t catch everything.

YouTube has had its share of larger challenges with infrastructure, keeping up with additional challenges that are faced by competitors such as Netflix, Sling, and Hulu. In a 2019 interview with the New Yorker, YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki stated, “the company is facing profound technical, social, and political challenges in moderating its own system.” In other words, specific measures established to moderate specific content and to ensure adherence to community guidelines make it challenging to keep up with the growth of the platform.

YouTube is an emerging news platform. It’s facing its own problems, but if the company is able to maintain good guidance as the site continues to grow, more people may be inclined to use YouTube as more than an entertainment site.




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Sam Stevenson

Sam Stevenson

Emerging writer, storyteller and blogger, aspiring to create something incredible with words.

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