Friday, December 19, 2008

Project Report - Vote for the Winner!

The final videos are in for the third and last round of Project: Report, the journalism contest YouTube is holding in partnership with the Pulitzer Center. Now is your chance to view the five finalists' submissions and vote to determine which of these aspiring journalists you think should win the grand prize -- a $10,000 fellowship with the Pulitzer Center to report on a story abroad.

At the outset of Round 3, the five finalists were each given two Sony video cameras. With these video cameras, their assignment was to produce a piece of collaborative storytelling that empowered an underrepresented community to share its own story with the world. First, each reporter chose a group of people rarely covered by the traditional media. Then, the reporter helped the members of this group use the camera to document their own lives.

Visit the Project: Report channel to watch the finalists' Round 3 submissions and then vote for the videos you find the most compelling. You can only vote for one video per day, and voting continues through Friday, January 9, 2009. The winner will be announced on Monday, January 12, 2009 -- so stay tuned!

Olivia M.
YouTube News & Politics

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Keeping an Eye on the Federal Government

The Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe, who writes the Federal Eye blog on, has started a project called "Ask Your Government" in which he gathers questions from everyday citizens and takes them to the powers-that-be on Capitol Hill.

In this video, which he posted to the Washington Post's official YouTube channel, Ed illustrates his new initiative by interviewing people on the streets of Washington to find out what they'd like to ask their government leaders.

Now, Ed is asking for everyone to participate. Using a new discussion tool called Google Moderator, you can submit questions that you want answered from the various departments, agencies, and offices in the federal government. What do you want to know about how the new administration will institute new policies and enact real change?

Pose your question here, and then vote on other questions that you think are important. Ed will select some of the top ranked questions every few weeks, pose them to those in Washington who have the answers, and post the answers on theFederal Eye blog and on YouTube.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Win a Trip to Davos on YouTube

[cross-posted on the YouTube Blog]

It's been a year of crisis in the global economy. The collapse of credit has left countless people in crushing debt, prompted governments to bail out their nation's strongest companies and brought instability to markets that had seen decades of fast growth in a newly globalized economy.

That's the bad news. The good news is that it often takes a crisis to bring about change.

This year at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, the world's top thinkers and leaders will gather to discuss how to bring about that change. They believe that fresh solutions have to come from fresh sources, so they're asking for your help: YouTube is partnering with WEF to give you the chance to join the debate on four key issues facing the planet today. One lucky YouTuber will even get to fly to Davos, all expenses paid, to attend the Forum, which takes place January 28-February 1, 2009.

It's called the Davos Debates - and there are four main topics being discussed: the economy, politics, ethics, and the environment. Go to the Davos Debates YouTube channel to vote on the 4 questions - or add your own video outlining your ideas for shaping the post-crisis world. WEF will choose the top video submitted by January 20, and that person will get to fly to Switzerland to join the discussion in person.

In addition, many of your videos will be played at panel sessions at Davos, where world leaders will listen to your thoughts and opinions as they debate these issues. Tell them your personal stories: how are the world's new challenges affecting your life, and what do you want to see happen next?

We live in a world that continually presents new challenges but also offers seemingly limitless possibilities. This is your chance to impact history with your own creative ideas. So submit your video by January 20, and help shape our collective future in 2009.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Election's Over, but Campaign Keeps Posting

November 4th was over a month ago, but the Al Franken campaign for U.S. Senate in Minnesota just released this video on YouTube of people's personal stories about the re-count there. His opponents are calling it a low-blow, but it's gaining traction on YouTube with over 35,000 views in a race that is still yet to be decided. Take a look at "My Vote":

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bjorn Borg Drops Briefs to Promote Peace

Who says washed-up tennis stars can't stop wars? Bjorn Borg, the Swedish tennis player who won eleven Grand Slam titles in seven years, has a new challenge on his hands -- promoting peace in a rather unconventional way. His campaign, aptly titled "Peace on Earth," asks supporters to "choose a warmonger" (the website offers several suggestions like Kim Jong Il, Hugo Chavez, and Robert Mugabe) to receive a pair of old "not sexy" underwear.

Borg has been using YouTube to spread his underwear campaign to an international audience. This recent video, featuring Borg himself, documents the first "underwear drop-off" of over 19000 pairs to President Bush (who received the most number of votes on the website):

Borg is still encouraging citizens to send him their old underwear, which will be used in a future delivery -- the next recipient has yet to be decided.

CEOs Fighting Corruption on YouTube

Corporate executives around the world are teaming up to fight global corruption, and in honor of International Anti-Corruption day on December 9, CEOs and leaders of the World Economic Forum's Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) are inviting the YouTube community to send their suggestions for how to fight corruption.

If you have ideas abut how corporations and world leaders might crack down on illegal bribes and other abuses of power, you can add your comments and reply videos in response to their call-out:

Among the 140 leaders who have joined the PACI, here's a list of the CEOs appearing in this video:
Peter Bakker, Chief Executive Officer, TNT, Netherlands; Alan L. Boeckmann, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fluor Corporation, USA; Samuel A. DiPiazza Jr, Chief Executive Officer, PricewaterhouseCoopers International, USA; and Richard OBrien, President and Chief Executive Officer, Newmont Mining Corporation, USA.

These CEOs argue the importance of fighting this widespread corruption by stating that each year, 1 trillion US dollars is lost in bribes around the world, which is enough to feed 400,000 million starving people for 27 years.

They promise to respond to some of these ideas and send another update directly from Davos, Switzerland at the Word Economic Forum in January 2009, so stay tuned for more.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Panel in DC: New Opportunities for Open Government

We're doing a talk on Friday, 12/12 in at the Google DC office entitled, "Creating New Opportunities for Open & Participatory Government". The panel we'll be moderating will feature the following speakers:

  • Jeff Eller, President & CEO, Public Strategies; former White House Director of Media Affairs under Clinton
  • Sam Graham-Felsen, Director of Blogging and Blog Outreach, Obama for America
  • Cyrus Krohn, eCampaign Director, Republican National Committee
  • Buffy Wicks, Missouri State Director, Obama for America
You can find out more in the post below, from Google's Public Policy blog.

Google D.C. Talk next week: Opening government to citizen participation

[Posted by Galen Panger, Global Communications and Public Affairs]

This past election brought more people than ever into the political dialogue -- as observers, commentators, voters, volunteers and contributors. Now how will that energy be transferred to the realm of governing?

We'll explore that question next Friday, December 12, at the second of three Google D.C. Talks focused on a policy agenda for the Obama Administration and 111th Congress. Open government advocates in two panels will share their ideas about how technology can help government become more accountable, transparent and participatory.

And to make sure we're walking the participatory walk, we invite you to submit and vote on questions for our panelists ahead of time via Google Moderator.

Google D.C. Talks presents the second in a three-part series
"Tech Agenda 2009: Creating New Opportunities
for Open & Participatory Government"

Friday, December 12, 2008
10:00 AM - 11:45 AM ET
Google Washington Office
1101 New York Avenue, NW, Second Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Click here for more details and to RSVP

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Transition Team responds to Citizen's Questions on YouTube

Tom Daschle & Lauren Aronson respond to questions submitted on, with this YouTube video.

CitizenNews Report of the Day

The New Jersey Star Ledger lets News Jerseyans create and program their very own television programming via TV Jersey. They take what citizens produce and promote it on This piece profiles Sister Jean Webster, a woman who helps serve meals to hundreds of poor and homeless residents of Atlantic City.

Monday, December 1, 2008

CitizenNews Report of the Day

After months of rains in Santa Catarina, Brazil, devastating floods have ravaged large parts of the country, killing hundreds and displacing thousands. This clip, found courtesy of Global Voices, was captured by a civilian who happened to be standing on his balcony with a video camera on hand as a powerful gush of rain water bursts over a hill, destroying the buildings in its path.