In another sign of their savvy web strategy, The Guardian have signed up YouTube makeup star Lauren Luke to write a column (with accompanying video) in the revamped Weekend section (they also just happened to run a full page story on Luke in Saturday’s paper.)
The importance of people like Lauren - a 27-year-old single mother who lives with her son, mum, sister and nieces - to online news distribution is made pretty clear by the following quote from the article:
“A brief BBC interview with Luke for a local Tyneside news programme has been seen by more than 2.2 million people, becoming one of the most viewed BBC clips on YouTube worldwide.”
And here it is:
I’ve written previously that if you want to get into journalism you should have a blog. I’d add to that: if you want your own column, you should build up a following on YouTube too. News organisations will increasingly not just be looking for people who know what they’re talking about, but how to distribute it effectively online.
Shame the video’s not embeddable though.
UPDATE (of sorts): As if to reinforce my point, the Washington Post “has appointed a new multimedia journalist as a result of his participation in a YouTube contest” – although this was a more traditional reporting job obtained through a YouTube journalism contest – Project:Report.