Social media has revolutionized the way that Americans get their daily news. An astonishing 30% of U.S. adults say that they now go to Facebook to get their news, 8% do the same with Twitter, and 10% go to YouTube as their primary news source. For Millenials, the numbers are even greater, with more than 60% of people under the age of 30 reporting that they get their political news from Social Media. Nearly half of the country is dependent upon Social Media as their go-to news source, and that’s great news for independent media outlets.
In the past, all media outlets – including the corporate-controlled media – relied on direct web visitors as their only means of attracting an audience. This allowed big name corporate outlets to dominate online news, as name recognition gave them an edge over burgeoning independent outlets. But Social Media has changed that formula. Web sites no longer have to sit and wait for visitors; they are actively engaging with them through Facebook and Twitter.
One media outlet that is capitalizing on the Social Media revolution is RawStory.com.
With more than 70,000 followers on Twitter and close to half a million likes on Facebook, Raw Story is able to push their brand of honest, independent journalism out to a massive audience (in addition to the approximate 15 million people who visit the site directly each month.)
In operation since 2004, Raw Story has stayed true to their original formula of providing corporate-free investigative journalism, without falling into the trap of click-bait headlines and pop culture infotainment. Sites like The Huffington Post, Salon.com, and Politico have all veered from their original intent, but Raw Story has always remained true to their goal of getting information to the public.
Raw Story’s original investigations and content have been featured on The Ed Show, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Real Time with Bill Maher. Their original reporting on “The Permanent Republican Majority” brought the political prosecution of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman into the national spotlight. And that was before they ever started with Social Media.
Today, their influence has grown by leaps and bounds, becoming one of the most popular online destinations for progressive news. With the recent addition of The Young Turks’ Ana Kasparian, the media outlet is expanding their reach and creating a new generation of politically active Americans. And it’s all because they’ve utilized Social Media and because they continue to deliver quality material while avoiding the pitfalls that are pulling down other media outlets.
In the era of corporate-controlled media, outlets like Raw Story are leading the pack in keeping citizens informed. Their success in the Social Media arena is bringing honest, independent, investigative journalism to a wider audience in ways that only a decade ago were unimaginable.
We at Ring of Fire owe a lot to them for paving the way.