This week the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) launched the first ever YouTube channel dedicated to investigative reporting. The I Files “selects and showcases the best investigative videos from around the world,” including contributions from Al-Jazeera, The New York Times, ABC, BBC and Investigative News Network.
Julia B. Chan, online engagement coordinator for The I Files, writes in a post on The Bay Citizen, “A story’s reach is now as vast as the Internet, and a great story has the potential to go as viral as this guy. That’s the reason The I Files is not just another YouTube channel. Thanks to generous support by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, viewers will be able to tune in and check out CIR’s carefully curated investigative news videos every day – we’re working with some of the biggest names in the business. Your eyes will be opened to a world of issues, but beyond that, you will be participating in an experiment we hope will transform journalism through new media.”
The I Files channel already features twelve videos, including The Hidden Costs of Hamburgers, the Deadly Cycle of Bloodshed in Syria, and more. The format ranges from animation to documentary and are incredibly well-produced. The channel has only brought in 1,169 views so far, but the videos have only been live for 6 hours. Check out the videos below for a taste of what you can expect from The I Files.
Chan writes, “The I Files has the potential to create significant impact by engaging new audiences in the value of investigative reporting by exposing what is happening in our world. These connections will help support a network for and give a platform to lesser-known and less-resourced video journalists.”
In addition to featuring videos from top investigative news sources, The I Files will also be reaching out to journalism schools across the United States and asking students to submit videos for an upcoming contest, The I Files Futures Award contest. The top 10 videos will be showcased on The I Files YouTube channel and a first-place winner will be selected.
Research has shown that citizen journalism is revolutionizing the way we consume news. Today more people than ever are turning to YouTube for their news fix and to find out what’s going on in the world around them and The I Files offers yet another channel for these viewers to get their fix. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the channel and the videos that have already gone up. Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.