These Activists Are Crowdsourcing the News

Have you found yourself frustrated with media coverage, wondering who is behind the messaging? Join the club. Take, for example, the folks who started Channel 98 Take Action News. Aware that corporate-owned media has a bias, they decided to take matters into their own hands by making the news themselves.

The organization arose from a group called The Other 98, known for their efforts to crowdfund a purchase of the Tribune Company (which owns the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and more). Their campaign to outbid billionaires David and Charles Koch fell far short, but their point was clear: who, precisely, "owns" the news?

As consumers, have a responsibility to be conscientious about the media we access. In reality, most of us rely too easily on mass media to sort through major events and tell us what we need to know. By extension, we trust mainstream media to be honest and fair in the process. Channel 98, as well as Al Jazeera America, want us to reconsider how mainstream media is influencing our opinions. The latter created a network for “fact-based, in-depth news” to feed a populace hungry for something corporate media hasn't offered in some time.

Sadly, I am skeptical of the prospect of success for crowdsourced media, because to continually find resources and financial security is a big hurdle. However, I think their motivation is genuine, even if it, too, has a bias.

Thomas White recently wrote an essay in the Huffington Post about how not hate your news. He suggests the way to work with bias is to be aware of what you consume: vary your sources, accept the bias, demand accuracy over early reporting, and remember that social media isn’t always news. These are all fantastic suggestions if you have no desire to change the status quo.

But I have another suggestion.

We, the people, do own a segment of the media: our public media. I’ve written about the value of public media before, but it bears repeating that public media is intended to be more responsive to the public by providing localized content for local priorities. Not to detract from Other98's good work , but we own a stake in public media that derives its funding from what is essentially crowdsourcing.

We need to take advantage of it.


How much do you trust the information in this article?

Jewelyn Cosgrove

Jewelyn Cosgrove is a writer for the Identities Section of Policy Mic. She writes primarily on millennials in the workforce. Jewelyn attended Tulane University and George Mason University. Jewelyn knows how to blow glass, has ancestors who haunt a hotel in New Orleans, and is a die-hard Who-Dat-ing Saints fan. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Jewelyn now lives in Washington, DC.

MORE FROM

HBO programming president defends ‘Confederate,’ says network is “standing by” the writers

“We could’ve done a better job with the press rollout,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys admitted.

‘Game of Thrones’: These are the funniest people to follow on Twitter for live updates

A good tweet is the best antidote to scenes like Sam cutting open Mormont's greyscale sores.

Let’s overanalyze these ‘Game of Thrones’ photos from “The Queen’s Justice”

Jon Snow's going to meet his Aunt Daenerys.

‘Dunkirk’ is a Christopher Nolan movie that doesn’t need to be solved

For his new World War II epic, the puzzle-focused filmmaker decided to adjust his approach to storytelling.

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson talk ‘Broad City’ season 4 and their prayers for Hillary Clinton

"Art has just become exponentially more political since the election," Glazer said.

Jenny Slate’s raw, honest exploration of female sexuality is the most riveting part of ‘Landline’

Gillian Robespierre and Elisabeth Holm's new film lets its women characters express their sexual desires on their own terms.

HBO programming president defends ‘Confederate,’ says network is “standing by” the writers

“We could’ve done a better job with the press rollout,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys admitted.

‘Game of Thrones’: These are the funniest people to follow on Twitter for live updates

A good tweet is the best antidote to scenes like Sam cutting open Mormont's greyscale sores.

Let’s overanalyze these ‘Game of Thrones’ photos from “The Queen’s Justice”

Jon Snow's going to meet his Aunt Daenerys.

‘Dunkirk’ is a Christopher Nolan movie that doesn’t need to be solved

For his new World War II epic, the puzzle-focused filmmaker decided to adjust his approach to storytelling.

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson talk ‘Broad City’ season 4 and their prayers for Hillary Clinton

"Art has just become exponentially more political since the election," Glazer said.

Jenny Slate’s raw, honest exploration of female sexuality is the most riveting part of ‘Landline’

Gillian Robespierre and Elisabeth Holm's new film lets its women characters express their sexual desires on their own terms.