Mark and others have previously pointed out that Howard is not using YouTube to actually reach out to YouTubers, he is using it to game the news cycle.
The applications for the Armed Forces Gap Year program open today, after a substantial planning period which seems to have done little more than slightly tweak the previous Ready Reserve program, so there was probably always going to be an announcement/press conference from Brendan Nelson today, which would have generated a certain amount of coverage. But by Howard getting his message out there on YouTube for all the news organisations to fall upon, the announcement has generated more noise in the corporate media than it otherwise probably would have.
The old media actually give these video announcements much more play than they would give a normal news conference, probably out of a sense of anxiety that their audience might head off to YouTube for the story instead of sticking with them. They give far more time to covering these video announcements than they actually deserve, to the detriment of covering other political stories.
It’s certainly distracted the media from yesterday’s news stories about the Government, which were mostly negative. So, what should the other parties be doing to counter Howard’s YouTube news cycle hijacking tactic?