My number one favorite YouTube channel in the category of “Governments, Heads of State, and Leaders from Around the World” belongs to her majesty, the Queen of England. But she wins purely based on the entertainment factor. The Royal Channel is a veritable repository of Anglo pomp and circumstance, showcasing dated acts of decorum and vestiges from an era when the British Empire saw no sunsets. Videos like Swan Upping are stodgy, silly, and fascinating.
But if information and insight are my metrics instead of watchability, I hope to soon say my favorite political leader’s YouTube channel belongs to Iraq. Earlier today Google and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced the launch of a dedicated YouTube channel for the Iraqi government. In the words of the Prime Minister:
“In the interest of enabling the Iraqi government and the National Media Center to use technology and advanced methods of communications and to present our message to other peoples, and in particular with the Iraqi people at home and abroad, the National Media Center has created the Iraqi channel on YouTube, a new and advanced method of communication.”
Google CEO Eric Schmidt applauds the Iraqi government’s efforts in a video shot while he visited the country to meet with government officials.
Schmidt stresses the importance of “transparency” and “openness” and notes how YouTube can be an effective tool when nation-building. It’s a great sentiment and I hope news organizations keep the Iraqi powers-that-be honest. I’m unclear about the genesis of Orwell’s Eurasia, but I’m sure a devastated, war-torn infrastructure and a device for efficient, mass communications were involved.
The Iraqi Government’s channel joins a small but growing number of world leaders and heads of state with YouTube destinations, including presidents of the United States, France, South Korea, and Estonia, as well as the Pope, Queen Rania, and the aforementioned Queen of England. The British Prime Minister, it should be noted, uses Brightcove.