The world has shifted itself into digital overdrive in the last 20 years and the big media conglomerates have done well keeping pace.  CNN, NBC, FOX, the BBC, and Associated Press have all found mainline outlets for their news coverage and content on the Internet and have amassed plenty of extra readership there.  But that’s not the whole story.  These big media companies are still competing in a level playing field with, well, everyone else.   Notably, one of the fastest rising stars in alternative and independent news journalism is a group of YouTubers known as the Young Turks.

Hosted by Cenk Uyger and Ana Kasparian, The Young Turks were the first original talk show on Sirius satellite radio and have built themselves a network of YouTube channels that see more than 27 million unique viewers every month.  Impressive, especially since they outrank many of those major news networks in online viewership.  

What’s even more impressive is their commitment to honest, transparent investigative journalism.  They take on topics like religious debates and political dissent in a raw manner that no corporate media channel would ever dream of.  This gives them an edge with modern audiences who are tired of the skewed and biased media coverage served up by “news” networks that take their funding from International banks and private investors.  

This is an important lesson in the power of the Internet to serve as an even and fair playing field for anyone and everyone to have a voice.  Unlike the broadcast world where your reach and influence is determined by the advertising sponsorship dollars you earn, this New Media gets its power and influence directly from the people and the content lives or dies based on its relevance and popularity.  This is a huge shift in the power dynamic, especially when you consider that networks like The Young Turks can still monetize their broadcast with Google’s YouTube ad network and other forms of internet monetization.  

There is power in the pen once again thanks to the global network at the hands of every journalist and commentator with a computer.   We think this is pretty cool and support all forms of digital communication, especially if it pushes the boundaries and gets people connected to the relevant news of the day.  With a smartphone in the hand of every teenager and the world’s information accessible via the cloud, we can only imagine what this level of communication will initiate in decades to come.

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