YouTube has, once again, radically reduced the costs involved in creating and sharing video online. It has released a web-based, video editing tool that is tightly integrated with its hosting services. This further reduces the costs and complications of video-based citizen journalism.
While YouTube has been the primary place to share video online (they receive 24 hours of video every minute of every day), many people still use desktop-based tools to edit and compress their video before uploading. This workflow carries two costs. Obvious is the expense of software itself. Some of these tools come pre-packaged with computers (Windows Movie Maker and iMovie), but others are expensive (Pinnacle and Final Cut Express). Second, and more importantly, are the costs of owning hardware capable of editing video. Working with HD video takes massive quantities of hard drive space and a fast CPU.
YouTube’s online editor changes all that.
For quick, news-style editing, users won’t need to buy any software, upgrade their hard drive, or have a speedy processor.
While YouTube is not the first to offer web-based video editors (here is a round-up of many tools available more than three years ago), its official tool will likely be seen by a much larger audience than those previously created by start-ups. But as Douglas Rushkoff argued yesterday, the availability of tools does not make journalists. The question for me is how education will accompany improved access to once-limited tools.
Perhaps the NewsU model will offer a solution. Are there any others? Comments are open below.