As part of YouTube’ year-end rewind, viewers are invited to watch the most-viewed videos of the year across a number of different genres. Most of these are pretty straightforward, but one category reveals an interesting trend. The most-viewed news videos of the year stand as evidence that more people are turning to online video to learn about the day’s top stories.

As in previous years, some of the top news videos of the year are the sort of silly stories that have made an impact on YouTube in the past. Charles Ramsey’s candid interview made the top ten, as did a Russell Brand interview with BBC, a viral video of an Asian rockslide, and a funny moment between Jennifer Lawrence and Jack Nicholson at the Oscars.

The rest of the top ten read as a rundown of the year’s top news stories. Two videos from the Boston bombings made the list, as did ones from the Waco fertilizer plant explosion, the Russian meteor shower, the Oklahoma tornadoes, and the Washington Navy Yard shootings. Their combined presence speaks to an age where many of the most viewed videos on YouTube are news related.

Of course, these findings are not just interesting because of volume. Five of the six videos noted in the previous paragraph are raw, giving viewers more personal, uncut access to the information they desire. This trend reveals a new paradigm in news coverage, one focused on user-uploaded content and visceral content rather than constant reporting and commentary. To get with this times, news companies should start thinking like onlookers with iPhones–at least as far as YouTube is concerned.


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