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To help you learn about the big stories of the week, we’re kicking off a new series from CitizenTube, a YouTube channel focusing on global news and politics.

Everyday on the CitizenTube channel (and @CitizenTube on Twitter), along with our curation partners @storyful, we look at how the top news stories are covered on YouTube. Each week, starting today, we'll post a weekly recap of the top news stories of the week, as seen through the lens of both citizen-reported footage and professional news coverage.


Olivia Ma, YouTube News & Politics Manager, recently watched “Inside Syria: Escalating violence pushes country toward full-blown war”.

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There is perhaps no other country in the world that has undergone more change or been under more scrutiny in the past decade than Iraq. The draw-down of U.S. troops and a recent election that has yet to produce a formal government have left Iraq in a state of flux. The country’s destiny has implications not just for the Arab world, but for the world at large.

That’s why, in partnership with the Arabic-language television network, Al Arabiya, we’re launching “Iraq Looks Forward,” a series of interviews on YouTube in which Iraqi leaders answer your questions about the future of the country. This is your chance to engage directly with top Iraqi officials, so visit youtube.com/alarabiya to submit your questions and vote on which you think should be asked.





A selection of the top-voted questions will be posted to sitting Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Barham Salih, and others.

The deadline for submitting questions is Monday, September 27.

Olivia Ma, News Manager, recently watched “Tony Blair on Iraq and Iran - The View

Update: Former sitting Prime Minister Ayad Allawi has also confirmed his participation in this interview series.

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Five years ago today, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast region, crashing through the levees that held the waters of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet at bay from the city of New Orleans. Overnight, 80 percent of New Orleans was submerged. To this day, only a fraction of residents in the hardest hit areas, like the Lower Ninth Ward, have returned to their homes.

Today, in partnership with ABC 26 (WGNO), a local television station in New Orleans, we commemorate the anniversary of Katrina with a selection of videos on our homepage from New Orleans residents.

Many of you have taken this anniversary as an occasion to upload videos to YouTube about the disaster and where things stand today, from never-before-seen footage shot in 2005 of the hurricane itself to stories of what it was like to leave your home of more than 50 years behind.

Some videos showed how much work is left to be done, like this one from the Ninth Ward, narrated by a resident returning home to survey the damage five years later:



Others discovered relics left behind but not forgotten:



And some chose to honor their city and its resilient spirit through song:



If you lived through Hurricane Katrina, we still welcome your reflections. Please submit your videos using YouTube Direct on ABC 26’s website. A selection of videos will also be featured on abc26.com, ABC 26’s YouTube channel, and broadcast on ABC 26 (WGNO).

Olivia Ma, News Manager, recently watched “Rebirth Brass Band: Do Watcha Wanna (in the French Quarter)

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Five years ago, on August 29, Hurricane Katrina began battering the Gulf Coast region, destroying homes, schools and businesses, and submerging the city of New Orleans under water. The deadly hurricane claimed over a thousand lives, left hundreds of thousands without homes, and caused tens of billions of dollars worth of damage, amounting to one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States. Despite these challenges, the resilient spirit of the Big Easy has helped the city and its residents rebound and rebuild.

In 9 days we will commemorate the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with a collection of videos on the YouTube homepage created by New Orleans area residents. In partnership with ABC 26 (WGNO), a local television station in New Orleans, we invite Gulf Coast region residents to reflect on the five years since Katrina and submit videos using YouTube Direct on ABC 26’s website. A selection of videos will also be featured on abc26.com, ABC 26’s YouTube channel, and broadcast on ABC 26.



Did you live through Hurricane Katrina and have a story to share? Upload your video here: http://www.abc26.com/community/rememberingkatrina

Olivia Ma, News Manager, recently watched “Vaccarella Family - Hurricane Katrina

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What are you doing today? Something routine like cooking breakfast or taking the dog for a walk? Or is it something extraordinary like your child's first soccer game or your wedding day?

Whatever it is, big or small, we hope you’ll capture it on video and take part in "Life in a Day," a user-generated documentary that will tell the story of a single day on Earth, as seen through your eyes. You have until 11:59 p.m. local time to film something, so get going. For more information, visit the Life in a Day channel.

Get out those cameras and let's make film history!

Nate Weinstein, Entertainment Marketing, just watched "The Film Editor’s How-To Guide for Life in a Day."

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Though YouTube is a global site, it’s often local videos that are most relevant to your life. When people use camcorders and mobile phones to capture newsworthy events in their neighborhoods and upload them to YouTube, they’re broadening the window into our own communities. For example, in the San Francisco Bay Area (where YouTube is based), we’ve seen several YouTube videos inform local news coverage, from the snapping of support cables on the Bay Bridge, to the shooting of Oscar Grant by an Oakland police officer, to fights breaking out on Muni, the local bus system.

Earlier this summer, we announced our CitizenTube News Feed, the first of two projects we're doing with the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Now, we’re participating in an experiment in citizen reporting right here in our own backyard. We’re joining forces with our local ABC station, ABC7 (KGO-TV), to launch the ABC7 uReport powered by YouTube. ABC7 will use YouTube Direct to collect news footage from people in the San Francisco Bay Area. Residents of the Bay Area are invited to document the news and events happening where they live, work and play, and to submit those videos via YouTube Direct to the producers at ABC7. The team at ABC7 will feature newsworthy videos on television (Channel 7 in the Bay Area), on their website (ureport.abc7news.com), and on their YouTube channel (youtube.com/abc7news).



Do you have a video camera and live in the Bay Area? You can participate in the project by submitting your news videos to ureport.abc7news.com, and be sure to follow along on Twitter (@abc7newsbayarea) and on Facebook (facebook.com/abc7news) for the latest news and updates.

Olivia Ma, News Manager, recently watched “Dancing at Sunday Streets Mission.”

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Every day, 6.7 billion people view the world through their own unique lens. Imagine if there was a way to collect all of these perspectives, to aggregate and mold them into the cohesive story of a single day on earth.

Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of “Life in a Day,” a historic cinematic experiment that will attempt to do just that: document one day, as seen through the eyes of people around the world. On July 24, you have 24 hours to capture a snapshot of your life on camera. You can film the ordinary -- a sunrise, the commute to work, a neighborhood soccer match, or the extraordinary -- a baby’s first steps, your reaction to the passing of a loved one, or even a marriage.

Kevin Macdonald, the Oscar-winning director of films such as The Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void and One Day in September, will then edit the most compelling footage into a feature documentary film, to be executive produced by Ridley Scott, the director behind films like Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Thelma & Louise, Blade Runner and Robin Hood.  LG Electronics is supporting “Life in a Day” as a key part of its long-standing Life’s Good campaign and to support the creation of quality online content that can be shared and enjoyed by all.

The film will premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and if your footage makes it into the final cut, you’ll be credited as a co-director and may be one of 20 contributors selected to attend the premiere.



Want to take part? Here’s what to do.

1. Visit the “Life in a Day” channel and learn more about the project. Be sure to read through the steps you need to take to participate and the guidelines for creating your video(s). Also check out some of the sample videos for inspirational ideas.

2. On July 24, capture your day on camera.

3. Upload your footage to the “Life in a Day” channel any time before July 31.

Regardless of whether your footage makes it into the final film, your video(s) will live on on the “Life in a Day” channel as a time capsule that will tell future generations what it was like to be alive on July 24, 2010.

Be a part of history.

Tim Partridge, Product Marketing Manager, recently watched “Life in a Day trailer.”

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In its January 13, 2010, ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the public broadcast of the proceedings in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a U.S. District Court case challenging the constitutional validity of California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. Not to be deterred, producers John Ainsworth and John Ireland from MarriageTrial.com took verbatim court transcripts and first-hand accounts from bloggers present at the trial to film complete re-enactments of the proceedings for their YouTube channel. With closing arguments slated for June 16, we caught up with the producers to learn more about the project.

What is the inspiration behind MarriageTrial on YouTube?
We realized on January 13, when the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the broadcast of California’s Proposition 8 trial, that this was really significant. When the American public was actively prevented from accessing these public proceedings on YouTube — precisely because it is so accessible — well, that’s a flat-out dare. We had to fill the void. We both believe that citizens should have access to the judicial process that will likely determine the future of marriage equality for our entire country.

First video in the series:



How has YouTube helped meet the goals of your project?

There is really no better venue for 60+ hours of film. Many blogs and news media websites have embedded our videos. Because of this, our coverage has become an integral part of the media’s reporting on the trial. Ultimately, this serves our primary goal, which is to bring transparency to the court process.

We have followed behind the scenes of the trial, as well. When the Defendant-Intervenors filed Motions to Strike testimony, we were able to “red-line” the proposed strikes, guiding people to the excerpts the motion sought to exclude from the official record. In fact, our re-enactment will remain accessible, regardless of what may be redacted from the official transcript. That is an extraordinary victory for transparency in our judicial process.

YouTube’s “time seek” functionality allows us to link evidence that is introduced in the trial. Most of our viewers are active consumers of the information, many of them reading along with the transcripts and searching for further references to each witness’s testimony. Yet many others just run the videos in the background. One of our subscribers, who cranks up her speakers and cleans the house, told us she considers our channel better than the books on tape.

Has the amount of attention been a surprise?

We were astonished at the press coverage we received, from local and national media. The international press, too, took a great interest in our project. The fact that they could access our video on YouTube made it very easy to cover and most TV and radio outlets broadcast clips directly from our YouTube channel. In a way, our YouTube Channel served as an Electronic Press Kit (EPK), which saved us quite a bit of time and marketing money.

We were featured in the New York Times, then on Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. Other national and international coverage followed. These reports commented on the way we were getting this video out to the masses…that our effort signifies a new type of “citizen journalism,” not only accessible to the world, but faster and cheaper to produce than traditional forms of media broadcast.

Describe the use of captions in your videos.

A few hours after we uploaded our first chapters, automatic captions miraculously appeared! We then formatted the official court transcripts and used YouTube’s auto-alignment tool to produce accurate captions. Our actors followed the transcripts word-for-word and the captions make it clear what a great job they did. It was so easy to provide captions, which, traditionally, can be very expensive (often prohibitively) for filmmakers. The new Interactive Transcript feature is a great way for users quickly jump to specific parts of the video directly from the transcript.

Comprehension and retention of the concepts introduced by witnesses, for example, get a major boost when viewers can read along, without having to pull up the PDF transcript. And of course, the trial re-enactment is immediately available to people with hearing loss, as well as people whose native languages are not English. The auto-translate function makes these captions available in so many languages. We could never have even approached this level of accessibility as independent filmmakers.

If the ruling goes into appeals, will you continue with the re-enactments?

Yes. We plan to follow Perry v. Schwarzenegger to the U.S. Supreme Court. According to most experts, this court’s ruling will be appealed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit, regardless of whether it repeals or confirms California’s Proposition 8. From there, it will inevitably be appealed to the highest court. We expect the first appeal within six months or so, then for it to go to Washington, D.C. by next fall. We are already planning for those re-enactments. It’s a bit early to cast the Supreme Court justices just yet, but we know that is in our future.

Bottom line, this case as a landmark in America’s civil rights history. We are proud to have created this permanent record as a resource for generations to come. Its ultimate impact is tied to YouTube as an integral part in our country’s political and cultural tapestry.

Interview by Obadiah Greenberg, Strategic Partnerships, who recently watched “NASA Team Captures Haybusa Spacecraft Reentry.”

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A year ago this weekend, Tehran erupted in protest at the disputed results of Iran’s tenth presidential election. In the severe government crackdown that followed, documented on cameras and uploaded by citizens to YouTube, no moment has been seen more than the death of Neda Agha Soltan, a young musician whose brutal killing by a sniper became the rallying cry for Iran’s opposition Green Movement. The anonymous videos of her death even won a prestigious George Polk award for journalism last year.

Today on the YouTube homepage, we're featuring a documentary from director Antony Thomas and HBO, entitled "For Neda". The film highlights how citizen reporting has become so important to human rights that even world leaders are paying attention to it. For example, as you’ll see in “For Neda,” President Obama talks about watching the video of Neda’s death, calling it “heartbreaking” and “unjust.”



We’re also taking this opportunity to begin a series of blog posts in partnership with WITNESS, an international human rights organization that supports people using video to document and expose human rights violations, to explore these issues.

How has video become such an important part of human rights advocacy worldwide? At its heart, human rights video is about making something visible that was not visible before. Seeing human rights abuses with our own eyes is very different than reading about the same abuses in a story or a blog post or a Tweet. In the past, we mainly saw these kinds of images in the nightly news or in documentaries -- and even then only occasionally. But now that camera usage and access to the Internet is much more widespread (including in many developing countries), we encounter human rights images much more directly. For example, Burma, Tibet and Iran are places where it’s difficult for local or international media to report, so when mass protests were met with violent force, it falls on ordinary people to try to get images out.

Human rights video is about more than capturing images of abuse as they happen, however. Direct testimony from victims or local activists can provide powerful and compelling evidence of human rights violations. Testimonies like that of "Mary," a Zimbabwean political activist who was abducted, raped and beaten in a secret torture center after the disputed 2008 presidential elections in Zimbabwe, have unique power to help us see what those who have suffered human rights abuses see, to feel what they feel, and to hear what they want to happen.

Videos alone aren’t usually enough; in order to make an impact, activists organize around the content. Sometimes organization is required simply to ensure the content finds an audience: in Iran, it was a networked web of activists who organized proxy servers and emailed footage to a diaspora outside of the country to ensure the videos got around the government's block of YouTube. Other times, coordinated campaigns ensure that citizens are called to action in courts, public squares or parliaments, as has happened in Brazil, Kenya, India or in the International Criminal Court. This isn't a phenomenon confined to developing countries or repressive regimes; it’s also happening in the U.S. Testimony as part of a campaign against elder abuse across the U.S. has helped expose stories that would otherwise go untold, and to pass legislation that improves the lives of millions of citizens. In our next post, we'll talk more specifically about what you can do to make sure videos you've uploaded or care about can have maximum impact for human rights.

As online spaces become more and more important for sharing and accessing information, we believe that access to the Internet itself is becoming a key factor in human rights in the 21st century. To make that a reality, governments, businesses, activists and citizens need to take a collective stand to ensure that video can shine a light into the darkest corners of human society, providing paths to justice to those who need it most. Both at WITNESS and at YouTube we're committed to helping build a global movement for human rights video that does just that.

Steve Grove, Head of News & Politics, YouTube, and Sameer Padania for WITNESS

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They documented college dining hall workers, teens struggling with cancer, and doctors treating the poor. Through Project: Report, a journalism contest produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center, aspiring journalists from around the country had the chance to tell stories that might not otherwise be told. And after months of reporting, shooting, and editing, the five grand prize winning reporters impressed the panel of judges and the voting community, and we’re showcasing their videos on the YouTube homepage today. Each winner will receive a $10,000 grant from the Pulitzer Center to report on an under-reported story outside of the United States.

Mark Jeevaratnam chose to tell the story of a group addressing prescription drug abuse in an Appalachian coal-mining town in southeast Kentucky:



Paul Franz follows the story of Joseph Dieune, a Haitian migrant worker who sends money to his family back home:



Samantha Danis explored the challenges facing the deaf community in America:



Alex Rozier reported on an organization in Missouri trying to help the world’s immobile people:



And Elan Gepner documented how the Philadelphia Student Union is trying to combat violence through community-building efforts:



The Pulitzer Center also selected "Friends of Mago" as the winner of the Round 2 “Open Submission” Award, and the Project: Report community chose A Day in the Life -- the story of Lauren Edens -- to win the Community Award. Both receive a Sony VAIO notebook with the all new Intel Core Processor and promotion on the YouTube homepage today.

Visit the Project: Report channel (http://youtube.com/projectreport) to watch all of the submissions as well as the video blogs posted by each of the semi-finalists. We hope their work inspires you to think about ways you can use your video camera and YouTube to share important stories with the rest of the world.

Olivia Ma, YouTube News and Politics, recently watched “Doctors Uses Music Therapy With Children".

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Project: Report is an annual contest that celebrates some of the best work being done by aspiring journalists on YouTube.  Journalism, like documentary filmmaking, is about telling the world's untold stories, which is why the Screening Room will be hosting a series of short docs offering a voice to those who might not otherwise be heard, starting with a new film from last year's Project: Report winner, Arturo Perez, Jr.

  • "Jerusalem: War in My Land" looks at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as told through the eyes of a young Jew and a young Muslim.
  • "Salim Baba" tells the story of Salim Muhammad, who makes his living using a hand-cranked projector to screen discarded film scraps for the kids in his surrounding neighborhoods. It was nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
  • In "One of the Last", a 78-year-old Italian farmer picks olives, grapes, cherries, and wonders why anybody would want to do anything else.
  • After 23 brain surgeries and suffering a debilitating condition called hydrocephalus, 12 year-old Luke Casey has become a survivor who's gentle spirit and mature soul is an inspiration to everyone he meets in "Bob Seger Rocks".

Starting today, you also have the opportunity to watch the Round 2 submissions from each of the 10 Project: Report semi-finalists and vote on your favorites. 

Enjoy the films,

Nate Weinstein, Entertainment Marketing Associate, just watched "Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop."

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All of the entries for Round 1 of Project: Report are in, and a panel of judges from the Pulitzer Center have chosen the top 10 semi-finalists. We saw terrific submissions from around the country, each telling a powerful story of an individual through a day in his or her life. Now you can vote for which Round 1 submission you think should win the Community Award.

Below is a list (in no particular order) of the 10 Round 1 winners who will proceed to the second and final round of Project:Report. The grand prize? One of five $10,000 travel fellowships to work with the Pulitzer Center on an international reporting project.

Each of these 10 semi-finalists also received a Sony VAIO notebook with the new 2010 Intel Core i7 processor and a Sony HD video camera, which they will use these to produce their videos for Round 2.

But don't worry, even if you're not one of the 10 semi-finalists there's still an opportunity to win a prize. At the end of Round 2, the Pulitzer Center will look at all of the videos submissions that came in for Round 2 and select one additional contestant to receive a Sony VAIO notebook.

If you're game, here's the assignment for Round 2:
Report on a compelling topic or subject of any nature which you believe has not been sufficiently and/or accurately covered by the national media. All entries must be less than five minutes long and shot in High Definition.

Submissions are due by 12 p.m. ET on April 4, 2010.

Congratulations to the 10 semi-finalists, and good luck to everyone in Round 2!



Olivia Ma, YouTube News & Politics, recently watched "Jersualem: War in My Land"

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On Sunday, despite as many as 100 bomb blasts throughout the country, according to news reports, Iraqi citizens flocked to the polls in higher-than-expected numbers to vote in the first nationwide parliamentary election since 2005. Amidst 38 confirmed casualties, Iraqi citizens from 18 different provinces inside Iraq -- as well as 16 other countries around the world -- cast their ballots to determine who will fill the Prime Minister's office and 325 seats in the nation's parliament.

What is it like to be an Iraqi citizen during this important and volatile time in the nation's history? We partnered with Al Jazeera English to find out, by collecting opinions directly from Iraqi voters on video in our "Iraqi Voices" project. The footage is still coming in as the votes are counted, but you can go to Al-Jazeera's YouTube Channel to see the playlist of content uploaded to YouTube so far. (If you'd like to put things in perspective, you can compare these clips to the ones we collected from American voters during the 2008 election in our Video Your Vote platform with PBS.)

One Iraqi got to the polls at 5 a.m. only to find out that his name was not on the list:



This video documents the actual voting experience in Iraq:



And this woman explains why she will not vote in this year's election:



If you're from Iraq or have thoughts about the Iraqi elections, upload your videos to the Al-Jazeera website (http://interactive.aljazeera.net/iraqelections) using YouTube Direct and your video might be shown on television.

Olivia Ma, News & Politics Manager, recently watched "التصويت الخاص للجيش (محمد الصالح" (with subtitles)

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A massive earthquake measuring 8.8 on the richter scale shook Chile at 3:34 a.m. on Saturday morning, waking most people in the middle of the night. Buildings have been destroyed, hundreds were killed, and many remain missing.

Since then, we've seen videos documenting the earthquake and its aftermath pouring onto YouTube. News organizations have been covering the tragedy 24/7, and citizens who experienced the epic natural disaster are sharing their experience with the rest of the world through their own videos.

This video taken during the earthquake gives a sense of what it was like to jump out of bed in the dark as your surroundings shook for more than 90 seconds:



And here you can see some of the structural damage caused by the earthquake, as user edielv surveys his neighborhood the next morning:



To upload your own videos of the earthquake in Chile, visit the Google Crisis Response landing page.

For video updates on what's happening in Chile, be sure to check CitizenTube.

Olivia Ma, News & Politics Manager, recently watched "Quake survivors reunited."

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The deadline is quickly approaching in the first round of Project: Report 2010, a journalism contest done in partnership with the Pulitzer Center for non-professional, aspiring journalists to tell stories in their community that might not otherwise be be told.

The assignment for Round 1 is to document a single day in the life of a compelling person the world should meet and showcase how that person is making a positive impact in his or her community. All videos must be three minutes or less, and the deadline for submissions is this Sunday, February 28, 2010.

Ten finalists will be chosen from the pool of Round 1 submissions by a panel of judges at the Pulitzer Center. Each finalist for Project: Report -- which is made possible by Sony and Intel -- will receive a Sony VAIO notebook with the new 2010 Intel Core i7 processor and a Sony HD video camera and proceed to the second and final round, where they will compete for five $10,000 travel fellowships to work with the Pulitzer Center on an international reporting project.

All five winners will also receive invitations to Washington, D.C., for a public screening of their work and the chance to participate in a special workshop with Pulitzer Center journalists.

You still have time to put together your Day in the Life piece if you get going today -- so find that person, tell their story, and submit your video on youtube.com/projectreport by Sunday.

We look forward to seeing your entries.

Olivia Ma, News & Politics Manager, recently watched "Arturo's Jerusalem Vlog: Episode One."

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Hundreds of fresh protest videos from Iran are appearing on YouTube today, as pro-reform protesters take to the streets in Tehran on the 31st anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. This marks yet another outbreak of protests since the disputed election last June.

Within hours of the protesters hitting the streets of Iran today, videos began streaming onto YouTube that document the large crowds chanting anti-government slogans and violent clashes with anti-riot police forces. Once again, these extraordinary videos provide an exclusive window into what's taking place on the ground, as foreign press have been banned from the country. YouTube remains blocked in Iran, but dissidents are passing videos to friends out of the country and using Internet circumvention technologies to post the footage, according to news reports and correspondence with those on the ground.

We're tracking the videos on Citizentube, and here's a selection that have come in so far today. A playlist can be found here.

A young man is dragged and beaten by members of the Basij police forces:




Protesters face-off against the the police:




Citizens flee from tear gas:




Security forces stand in the streets, armed and ready:




Protests in the Metro in Tehran:




Large groups gather in the streets to demonstrate:




UPDATE: This photo taken by GeoEye at 10:47 AM local time shows downtown Tehran filled with people. You can explore the area using this KML layer in Google Earth.



Olivia Ma, YouTube News & Politics, recently watched "Mass Rallies, Protests in Iran"

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Today, in partnership with the Pulitzer Center, YouTube presents Project: Report 2010, a journalism contest – made possible by Sony and Intel – for non-professional, aspiring journalists to tell the stories that might not otherwise be covered by the media, and to share those stories with the world.

This year, Project: Report (www.youtube.com/projectreport) will consist of two rounds of competition held over the next three months. In each round, contestants will be given a reporting assignment to complete. After the first round, 10 finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges at the Pulitzer Center. Each finalist will receive a Sony VAIO notebook with the new 2010 Intel Core i7 processor and a Sony HD video camera and proceed to the second and final round, where they will compete for five $10,000 travel fellowships to work with the Pulitzer Center on an international reporting project.

All five winners will also receive invitations to Washington, D.C., for a public screening of their work and the chance to participate in a special workshop with Pulitzer Center journalists.

Arturo Perez, Jr., the winner of the first edition of Project: Report, traveled to Jerusalem and worked with the Pulitzer Center to produce a story on dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis.

Watch the first installment of his video diary from the trip:

Do you have a story you want to tell?

Here's the assignment for Round 1 of Project: Report 2010:

Document a single day in the life of a compelling person the world should meet and showcase how that person is making a positive impact in his or her community. All videos must be three minutes or less, and submissions will be open through February 28, 2010.

Even if you do not participate in or advance past Round 1, you may still complete the assignment for Round 2, though you will not be eligible for the grand prize. YouTube and the Pulitzer Center hope to highlight and bring an audience to as many of your stories as possible.

So, without further ado, it's time to pick up that video camera, take on this assignment, and start reporting your stories to the world.

Olivia Ma, News & Politics Manager, recently watched “Project Report: What the Pulitzer Center is looking for"

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Every day, people with video cameras are changing the ways we get our news. We see it during elections. We see it during earthquakes, fires and other natural disasters. We see it on our freeways, in our schools and in our public spaces. Almost any event that takes place today has a chance of being captured on camera. As YouTube has become a global platform for sharing the news, media organizations have been looking for a good way to connect directly with citizen reporters on our site so they can broadcast this footage and bring it to a larger audience.

That's why we created YouTube Direct, a new tool that allows media organizations to request, review and rebroadcast YouTube clips directly from YouTube users. Built from our APIs, this open source application lets media organizations enable customized versions of YouTube's upload platform on their own websites. Users can upload videos directly into this application, which also enables the hosting organization to easily review video submissions and select the best ones to broadcast on-air and on their websites. As always, these videos also live on YouTube, so users can reach their own audience while also getting broader exposure and editorial validation for the videos they create.


Though we built YouTube Direct to help news organizations expand their coverage and connect directly with their audiences, the application is designed to meet any organization's goal of leveraging video content submitted by the community. Businesses can use YouTube Direct to solicit promotional videos, nonprofits can use the application to call-out for support videos around social campaigns and politicians can use the platform to ask for user-generated political commercials. The opportunities to use the tool are as broad as the media spectrum itself.

Already, we've seen ABC News, the Huffington Post, NPR, Politico, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, and WHDH-TV/WLVI-TV in Boston using YouTube Direct. We look forward to seeing many more organizations to do the same.

To get started, visit youtube.com/direct.

Steve Grove, YouTube News and Politics, recently watched "The WonderScope Challenge"