“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” Malcolm X
I recall that before the 2008 elections a talk-show host noted that it would be a YouTube election due to how the medium had revolutionized political discussion. Never before could people record political speeches and share them to such a wide audience; never before could politicians custom-make messages to share with supporters; never before could someone armed with a video device reach out with their own takes on politics. Obama recognized the potential and capitalized on it, and other social media platforms, far better than Hillary, McCain and later Romney. A revolution was born: social media, as well as alternative media, mushroomed in the following years. Fast forward to 2016 and we find these sources of information are more important than the corporate media. One could say, and many are, that the real winner of the 2016 election was not only Trump, but also alternative media. The real loser was not only Hillary, but corporate media. Yet for those who would like to democratize information disbursement even more they should recognize that, like a seemingly vanquished villain in a horror movie, it is not yet over when the opponent first appears down and out. Now is actually the time to take action to the next level.
In the 2016 election the supporters of Bernie Sanders learned early on that the media was not on their side. They found their massive rallies ignored, their ideas misrepresented and their characterization to the public as lazy millennials living in their mother’s basements. The supporters of Donald Trump too saw their rallies ignored, or worse, a bad apple here and there characterized as symbolic of their whole movement, their ideas misrepresented and they were presented (wrongly I would add as election results demonstrated) as nothing more than uneducated, racist, insecure men. The media early on made it clear they wanted this to be a race between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. The problem was, they were no longer trusted as the “4th estate gatekeepers” anymore. People could watch a Bernie or Trump rally, tweet links to family and friends, and as the media continued to present an image to the public that did not fit what they were seeing on the internet, as well as the growing alternative media outlets, the distrust grew of long-established sources. The last straw was the polls that showed how badly Trump would lose…polls and analysis everywhere – except in the alternative media. And guess who was right: yep, the new media.
Of course what is “alternative” or “independent” media? Well, it can be hosts who are becoming increasingly recognized as movers and shakers even by the corporate media, or it can be a teenager with a blog and a YouTube channel with a few hundred subscribers. It is everyone who is dedicated to sharing information, regardless of their “press credentials.”
I got into this when my first book was published, “Freedom from Conscience – Melanie’s Journey” http://finest.se/jasmincroft/ and http://moaklang.tumblr.com/post/47194554291/book-review-title-melanies-journey-author . I was interviewed on dozens of radio and internet platforms, but on one the host actually encouraged me to set up my own program to get information out about my books as well as commentary on psychology, the public mind, and manipulation. I soon was given a program on UCY-TV Productions. Now I have a weekly show and convert most of my programs to YouTube to get the word out even more: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3XJz3ZkzIW5sjpaaX3pp2Q . Visits to my channel number in the thousands each week from around the world, not including hits on my blog or direct listeners to my program.
Americans, and people around the world, are getting more and more fed up with a media that is out-of-touch with the interests and concerns of the regular working/middle class people. It should be no surprise though. How many people at the top of the media pyramid do not come from an elitist background? How many would feel at home interviewing people at a bowling alley in Fresno as opposed to a vegan café in The Hamptons? And this does not even consider how many millions of dollars national news celebrities might earn: http://radaronline.com/photos/the-17-highest-paid-media-figures-on-tv/ Can an industry comprised of people who might feel more excited going to an avant garde art show on the lower east side of New York, than a 4th of July celebration in Salt Lake City, truly believe it is capable of analysis of the minds, values and concerns of regular people?
So here is the question: If most people who now comprise the alternative media are just regular people, most doing it without any monetary compensation, then have you considered the possibility of becoming part of this growing phenomena? Some of the most powerful YouTube videos have been of a person giving their reasons they support, or oppose, a certain policy. All they did was turn on a video devise and film themselves. That is the new democracy. And whether you reach 50 people or 50,000 you are having an impact…a lasting impact as the video will remain there as long as you like. Then there is blogging. If you like writing commentary on Facebook and other social media why not write your opinions in a few paragraphs and share them as a link when in debates or whatever? Also, if you are under 18 you can’t vote but you can influence people who do vote. And people listen to people they feel they share something in common with, or see them as having special insights. So be you a blue-collar male mechanic, a 20-something female psychology major who worked for Bernie, or a Hispanic Mormon housewife who worked to get Donald Trump elected you can reach people in a way someone else might not.
So even though election-2016 is over this is the best, yes best, time to take up the cause of providing an alternative to mainstream corporate media. Many people still have nominal trust in the corporate media, not full trust but they will still tune in through habit, and that habit can be broken if thousands of people take up the cause and chip away at its legitimacy through true “fact checking” and sharing. This is not an encouragement for people to challenge corporate media just to take down the powers-that-be. The very premise of a functioning representative government is to have accurate information. The corporate media has proven their arrogance and unwillingness to cover issues in an unbiased manner so our only recourse is to replace them. And thanks to our available technologies we can all make our individual impacts. Remember, a roaring river is the result of individual raindrops coming together and exerting power. Isn’t it time to get wet?