As newspaper criticism fades, YouTube video essay flourish

Instead of thumbing through the Arts section of a newspaper for movie reviews, millennials are opting for video-sharing. Here’s one journalist’s take on an expanding industry trend.

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In YouTube’s golden era, video essays are winning over millennials.

Although approaches can vary, video essays typically feature a narrator who presents a thesis using still images, animations and video clips. Most videos focus on some sort of cultural criticism, and many focus on film.

It’s a trend that marketers, PR pros and brand managers should keep an eye on.

In Honest Trailers, an essay produced by the YouTube channel Screen Junkies, the creator criticizes a single movie. This is similar to a critic’s review in a newspaper or magazine column.

Some of the best video essays go beyond mere reviews and take an academic approach to cinematic criticism. For example, former MSNBC producer Evan Puschak published The Evolution of Batman’s Gotham City to the YouTube channel The Nerdwriter. This essay would have worked on the pages of The New York Times or Chicago Tribune, but Puschak’s use of images and video adds an entirely new dimension to his argument.

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