Thursday, June 30, 2011

AmeriCorps’ Response to Joplin Tornado

On May 22, 2011, a deadly tornado struck the city of Joplin, Missouri, killing over 100 people and causing millions of dollars in damages. Hours later 32,000 AmeriCorps members rushed to the city, providing 190,000 hours or service--the largest turnout in AmeriCorps history. During their time helping respond to the crisis, volunteers set up missing persons hotlines, assisted in search and rescue, served meals, cleared roads, managed donations, and repaired homes. Check out the video below to see the support AmeriCorps volunteers contributed to help the people of Joplin recover and rebuild their lives after the disaster.

13 Senators tell LGBT Youth: “It Gets Better”

In September 2010, Dan Savage--author of the internationally syndicated relationship and sex column Savage Love--created a YouTube video in response to a number of tragic suicides by LGBT youth who were bullied because of their sexual orientation. Savage’s goal was to inspire members of the LGBT community who face harassment and fight for the chance to be themselves. Through YouTube, Savage’s first video reached people across the globe and encouraged them to hold on. Today, the It Gets Better Project has grown into a worldwide movement dedicated to reminding LGBT youth that they are not alone.

In less than a year, It Gets Better has gathered support from celebrities, politicians, and organizations ranging from Colin Farrell and Hillary Clinton to Pixar and Gap. Recently, thirteen U.S. senators teamed up to create their own It Gets Better video, discouraging LGBT teens from giving up, and assuring them that America’s political atmosphere is changing. The senators assure viewers that they are working hard to fulfill the promise of America: equality. The politicians note the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Act” as a first step in speaking out against hate and intolerance, and assure the LGBT community that they won’t stop there. Things will get better.

Check out the inspiring video, released Wednesday June 29, 2011, below and click here to learn about the Trevor Project, a benefactor of It Gets Better, determined to end suicide among LGBT youth.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Benjamin Netanyahu’s invitation to Social Media Users in the Middle East

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently took to YouTube to invite people from around the world to ask him questions directly via video. The PM touched briefly on the uprisings throughout the Middle East, noting that while many countries attempted to silence social media, Israel is committed to using tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to engage in an open and honest public conversation. In that same vein, Prime Minister Netanyahu encouraged users of all backgrounds to submit questions directly to him so that he could “openly communicate without barriers.” Check out his video below and submit a question today by uploading a video to YouTube and sending the link to

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gangsters, golfers and love on the troubled streets of Vancouver: This Week's Top Stories on YouTube

Everyday on the CitizenTube Channel (and @CitizenTube on Twitter) we look at how the top news stories are covered on YouTube. Every week we'll post a weekly recap of the top news stories of the week here. This week:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Michelle Obama tells South Africa "Yes, You Can!"

First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, Malia and Sasha, took a recent trip to South Africa hoping to empower youth and focus on leadership, health, and education initiatives. During the course of the visit, the female members of the Obama clan won the hearts and minds of many South Africans, reading The Cat in the Hat to a day care center in Johannesburg, visiting with former president Nelson Mandela, and delivering inspiring messages to young women throughout the country. To view more footage from the Obama family’s visit and see how local resident received them, check out the citizentube playlist below. Every day we’re updating the CitizenTube channel with today’s top news.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

YouTube Town Hall: members of Congress answer your questions on education, immigration and the economy

Cross posted from the YouTube Blog

Since we launched the YouTube Town Hall, an online platform for members of Congress to debate and discuss the most important issues of the day, representatives and citizens alike have actively used the site. Twenty-five members of Congress submitted videos across the six initial topics, and people watched these videos more than 1.1 million times. You cumulatively submitted more than 115,000 votes, and it was Tom Udall’s video, “Time for Afghanistan Transition”, that ended the month at the top of the YouTube Town Hall Leaderboard. The top five videos included a diverse array of issues from Senators and Representatives on both sides of the aisle:

Today we’re launching round two with new topics. You’ve submitted hundreds of questions and voted thousands of times, and here are the three top questions that Congress is answering:
  1. Economy: We are greatly concerned about the current economic climate in the United States. Not only are prices on consumer goods going up, but the value of our currency is falling. How will Congress solve the burdens that weigh so heavily on everyone?
  2. Education: Technology is rapidly becoming one of the country's largest industries. How can high schools help prepare their students if they're using outdated computers and equipment?
  3. Immigration: There are millions of undocumented individuals living in the United States, many of whom were brought to the US as children. Is enacting the Dream Act a viable way for these individuals to be granted citizenship?
Visit YouTube Town Hall to watch members of Congress debate these new questions. And if you’re interested in posing questions of your own, ask them here!

Will Houghteling, YouTube News and Politics, recently watched “Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson: U.S. Economy - By The Numbers.“

Thursday, June 16, 2011

This Week's Top News Stories on YouTube - Riots, Wreckage, and a Resignation

Everyday on the CitizenTube Channel (and @CitizenTube on Twitter) we look at how the top news stories are covered on YouTube. Every week we'll post a weekly recap of the top news stories of the week here. This week:

  • We witnessed deadly floods in central and southern China that killed more than 90 people, affected more than 8.5 million people, and caused over $1bn in damage.
  • We were shaken by massive 6.0 and 5.5 earthquake aftershocks in Christchurch, New Zealand, and their aftermath.
  • We got to know the US Republican presidential candidates better during their first major debate.
  • We saw thousands of angry Greeks protest against a government that imposed austerity measures they felt weren't working and further crippling their economy.
  • We watched lots of sports as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat to win the NBA basketball championship. Though we enjoyed the basketball spoofs, were sad to see Vancouver riot after the Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins for the Stanley Cup ice hockey trophy.
  • We witnessed the demise and eventual resignation of US Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York over the #weinergate scandal.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Link Between Climate Change and Joplin Tornadoes? Never.

In a recent op-ed featured in the Washington Post, Bill McKibben, author and founder of wrote about the increasing number of natural disasters that have spanned the globe in the past year. Turning McKibben’s words into stunning visual display, Stephen Thomson of has created a video which calls attention to the disturbing reality of global warming, questioning how our political leaders, and fellow citizens, will choose to grapple with the issue. The video, featured on ThinkProgress, has gained over 50,000 in its first week. Does this mark the beginning of a trend of op-eds becoming visually enaging youtube videos? Decide for yourself.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Live Conversation on US-China Relations between Jon Huntsman and Henry Kissinger

In his new book, On China, U.S. Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, writes about the turbulent history of US-China relations and a fear of communism that has haunted America since FDR’s failed attempt at diplomatic ties with the Nationalist and Communist parties in 1945. Speaking about the role of the countries in current affairs, Kissinger asks, “what a culmination if, forty years later, the United States and China could merge their efforts not to shake the world but to build it.”

Beginning 12:30 (EST) on Tuesday June 14, Thomson Reuters will explore this issue in a live conversation between Sir Harold Evans, Henry Kissinger, and U.S. Ambassador to China (as well as prospective Presidential candidate), Jon Huntsman. The event will serve as the first in a series that seeks to shed insight into the uncertain relationship between the two emerging superpowers.  The second conversation in this series kicks off the following Wednesday when Paul Ingrassia, Deputy Editor-in-chief of Reueters interviews Carlos Ghosn, Chairman, CEO, and President of Nissan.

To watch the conversation please visit the Reueters YouTube channel at The conversation will air live at 12:30 EST on Tuesday June 14th.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

This Week's Top News Stories on YouTube - Floods, Syria, Trump and More

Everyday on the CitizenTube Channel (and @CitizenTube on Twitter) we look at how the top news stories are covered on YouTube. Every week we'll post a weekly recap of the top news stories of the week:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Discover St. Charles -- Innovative Use of YouTube by Local Government

The City Council of St. Charles, Missouri recently launched an innovative YouTube channel, Discover St. Charles. Instead of relying on public access television, which few people know about and anchors them to their house to hear updates from the city, they're releasing installments on YouTube. They're also pushing citizens and visitors alike to bookmark the channel on their smart phones so users can see updates on the go. Check out the announcement video below and visit the channel here.