YouTube Launches "Virtual Assignment Desk" With YouTube Direct

Tool allows media organizations to request, vet and broadcast clips

YouTube is trying to make it easier for news operations to get more work out of all those citizen journalists out there.

The online video site Tuesday announced the launch of YouTube Direct, a tool that it says will allow media organizations to request, vet, and broadcast YouTube clips.

The open source application allows news organizations to access a version of the site's upload platform from their own Web sites, creating what YouTube calls a virtual assignment desk.

"Using YouTube Direct, news and media organizations can farm out assignments to citizen reporters, allowing them to upload their videos directly into the application," said YouTube in announcing the platform.

Among the operations said to be planning to use the new platform, according to the company, are WHDH-TV/WLVI-TV Boston, The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post, National Public Radio and Allbritton's Politico.