In a world that is becoming increasingly more polarized, it’s hard to decipher truth. News outlets we once turned to for information have now become sensationalized 24-hour “info-tainment” networks. Yet one journalist has had enough of the system that controls media, finance and government, and is Breaking the Set in hope of inspiring viewers to act and think locally. At 29 years old, Abby Martin has definitely left her mark on political journalism. Outspoken and a little unfiltered at times, she stands true to herself (nose ring included) in delivering stories that deserve public recognition.
As a millennial herself, Abby understands the plight we face as a generation. Mainstream media has lost all legitimacy. Financial institutions have proven to be dangerous and manipulative. And our government has exercised unrestrained spending and power causing young adults to be eternally in debt and slaves to the authority. But with the rise of the Internet, new mediums are popping up daily that offer hope for the future.
Abby Martin Breaks Away from Mainstream Media
With digital news organizations like Russia Today, VICE, and the Young Turks providing millennials with the information they demand, mainstream media conglomerates like Comcast Universal (NBC), Fox, CBS, and ABC are fearing they may be losing their edge. Abby tells MiLLENNiAL, “The vast majority of adults, teenagers, and youth are all realizing that there is a completely irrelevant model” when it comes to watching the news “that is purely about entertainment.” As a result, she says, “they are all turning to alternative sources and it’s scaring the hell out of these companies.”
But as these online sources offer an abundance of information, it can be difficult to navigate through the treacherous web to find accurate accountings. To make the search even more daunting, Abby says that as Google becomes more intuitive, it will become more challenging to find articles that don’t cater to your personal biases. “Truth can be subjective, but there is always an absolute truth that exists.” For anyone who is interested in really assessing a particular issue, Abby recommends finding five sources that discuss the same story. She advises, “following the journalists that you respect the most.” This allows your information to be filtered by a personally trusted source.
The Great Risk of Cyber Currencies
Just as alternative new sources are coming to the media’s rescue, cyber currencies are doing the same for the financial industry. Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and other decentralized currencies are making their way onto the market with the goal of moving away from a centralized banking entity and providing alternative means. Abby believes decentralized currencies can – and quite possibly will – create a financial revolution. She adds, “Great things always come with risk.” And while cyber currencies do present many risks, the alternative (sticking with the dollar) bodes an even more unmanageable future. “We have to take the risk if we want to work outside the system because the system is just crushing us.”
Net Neutrality and the Government’s Control
Another system that is equally crushing is the US government itself. With NSA surveillance, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a two-party political spectrum, and nearly $17 trillion in debt the government is destroying America’s civil liberties with each passing bill. And with the FCC passing regulations on net neutrality, the War on Information has already begun. “Information is power…there is a crack down on the Internet because they know it’s one of the last bastions of free-exchange,” Abby warns.
Privacy is something that Abby says, “Millennials are the last generation to know.” We remember the world before 9-11 and a world before social media. It’s important that we safeguard this privilege and allow it to “resonate with generations younger than us” or else we will lose it forever. Abby advises anyone who is interested in chipping away at one problem to, “Find your voice. Find your passion. Find what issues speak to you and hone in on that because that’s all we can do at the end of the day.”
The best way to keep the Internet free is by being proactive. Constantly sharing information that speaks to this issue and getting out on a grassroots level will help to encourage others to join the fight. The more you learn about particular issues, the more it will speak to you. Abby suggests, “Once an issue speaks to you, that’s when you can reach out locally. Get involved in your community. We’re seeing great change happening on a local level.”
You can follow Abby Martin on RT’s Breaking the Set where she offers a voice outside of the two-party system and features grassroots movements, artists, activists, and journalists who don’t have a platform on any other network. But be forewarned, she tells the hard ugly truth, something a lot of Americans like to avoid.