ITN amplifies ‘citizen’ video journalism with TruthLoader

Phil Harper

From the producer behind the UK’s biggest nightly commercial TV newscasts, comes an interesting experiment leveraging online networks and amateur video.

ITN Productions, which makes ITV News and Channel 4 News, has launched TruthLoader — a YouTube channel that will showcase amateur footage from hotspots around the world and whose own investigations will be led by discussion in a subreddit (group) on the Reddit community.

TruthLoader, the latest online video channel launched by the traditionally TV-led news agency, is funded by YouTube’s originals program (which gives UK producers up to £500,000) and brings a video spin to a “citizen journalism” construct that has conventionally been focused on text and still images.

“Citizen” video contributions are identified by Storyful.

Presenter Phil Harper will also host a weekly live video debate with citizen journalists over Google Hangouts and Skype.

TruthLoader’s challenge will be to bring a degree of measure, fact and balance to much of the raw footage it gets, for example, from protest spots in the Middle East, where some video footage nowadays attempts to paint a misleading picture of events and which large news organizations spend time validating. Often, footage is not just from “citizens” but active participants in stories.

Release (via Journalism.co.uk).

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