On Monday, YouTube announced that the CitizenTube section of its website will now support a fulltime news venue dubbed the YouTube News Feed.

In the past two years since its inception, CitizenTube has only been updated sporadically. Now, its companion blog will be updated continuously throughout the day and night, and videos that fit the Breaking News category will be posted immediately.

The rest of CitizenTube will spotlight some of the best news videos uploaded by both amateur and professional reporters. In its official announcement, YouTube says that selections for the News Feed feature will be made with “a focus on strong visuals, non-traditional sources and the very latest uploads.” Current choices include a natural gas well explosion in North Texas, a Greenpeace activist getting wounded by a fisherman’s hook in the Mediterranean Sea, a runaway elephant in Switzerland, a Japanese spacecraft taking a fiery plunge to Earth, and fatal blasts at a crowded rally in Kenya.

Jolie O’Dell, who writes about social media and technology for Mashable, makes a good point about CitizenTube’s selections:

One of our initial concerns is that the feed will be swamped with visually shocking stories, living up to the old news adage, ‘If it bleeds, it leads.’ Currently, the feed is all pyrotechnical disasters and violent crime as captured by, well, anyone with a camera phone. We hope those in charge of the project will also take care to curate thoughtful, in-depth videos and highlight issues that are less shock-and-awe but ultimately of even more consequence to most citizens.

You can follow CitizenTube on Twitter: @citizentube. YouTube requests that people who Twitter notify CitizenTube of newly uploaded breaking news videos.

Source: “YouTube’s CitizenTube Will be a Breaking News Feed,” TechFr3qNews, 06/15/10
Source: “YouTube Testing News Feed for Pro and Citizen Journalists,” Mashable, 06/14/10
Source: “BREAKING NEWS: YouTube Expands CitizenTube To Spotlight Breaking News,” Gather, 06/14/10
Source: “YouTube Begins Testing News Feed Feature,” WebProNews, 06/14/10
Source: “The YouTube News Feed: What’s happening now?,” The Official YouTube Blog (Broadcasting Ourselves), 06/14/10
Image by unknown photographer. Please read the message accompanying this photo on Flickr to see why we decided to include it in this post without Creative Commons licensing.

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