Mix of amateur and professional efforts tops list of 2013 YouTube news clips

YouTube’s top trending news videos of the year include polished pieces from the Boston Globe and the Guardian and shaky, rough cell phone videos from people in Waco, Tex., and Taiwan.

“I think what’s most interesting is they are from all over the globe,” said Tom Sly, director, global head of news partnerships for YouTube, in a phone interview. “They are from traditional news outlets as well as people in the right place, or the wrong place, at the right time and captured something.”

A video caught on someone’s cell phone has as much chance to get viewers as a polished BBC interview with Russell Brand, Sly said.

“You don’t have to have incredibly high-production value in order for your content to be interesting,” he said.

Videos that made the top spots include tornado chasers in Moore, Okla., at No. 7, a cheetah chasing an impala into a tourist’s car on safari, at No. 12, and at No. 15, a spider on a weather camera totally freaking out a meteorologist.

Here are the top five trending news videos of the year:

No. 1: Meteorite crash in Russia

No. 2: Explosions at the Boston Marathon, from the Boston Globe:


No. 3: Fertilizer explosion near Waco, Tex.

No. 4: Surveillance video related to Boston bombings:

No. 5: BBC interview with Russell Brand

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