Who informs Germans about the Russia-Ukraine War on YouTube?
Keywords:YouTube, source diversity, search results, Russo-Ukrainian War, Germany, mainstream media, alternative media, participatory media
Even though YouTube is often considered to be a platform for user-generated content, mainstream media has been present on the platform for years. However, the extent to which mainstream media can dominate YouTube is unknown. This study addresses this knowledge gap by exploring the source diversity of German language search results about the Russia-Ukraine War and applying the concepts of mainstream media and alternative media. Two scraping audits collected the top 20 results for the search “Russland Ukraine” (meaning “Russia Ukraine” in German) over 21 consecutive days. The results revealed two major findings: first, most of search results came from YouTube channels of the mainstream media (409 out of 420 in the first audit; 410 out of 420 in the second audit). Second, on average, most of the 20 search results were new every day (12 in the first audit; 14 in the second audit). These results demonstrate that German media organizations related to the newspaper, television, radio, and magazine industries can extend their reach from their traditional media channels to YouTube—at least regarding German search results related to the Russia-Ukraine War during data collection.
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