A very enthusiastic and excited Ian Somerhalder sat down with RYOT co-founders Bryn Mosher and David Doug and Mashable’s Peter Cashmere to discuss ‘The Future of News Combing Awareness and Activism’ at the Social Good Summit early Sunday afternoon September 22.
Both Bryn Mosher and David Doug wanted to find a way to get youth more involved in what’s happening around them. They have had 20 years experience in journalism – working in the field and instituting projects so they were able to see what had positive or negative results. Both men were responsible for the whole process of reporting from filming to sending the news back home and at that point there was a turnoff- people were apathetic about something that didn’t affect them. They discovered that if they included an action of involvement at the end of the story that people were more receptive and responsive to it.
About a year ago RYOT was born. It is a current, breaking news website and competes with national newspapers but they are ‘pioneers’ that allow readers to take action on an article and thus ‘become the news’. Bryn and David get their news from reporters in the field, people send in articles and it also relies on Associated Press and to complete the article they chose the best non profit organizations in any particular area to as one of the actions.
Ian has known both men for a while especially Bryn Mosher. When Bryn and David approached him with the idea of how they were going to take news and make it in a’ participant manner ‘and thus be able to have people become the news- ‘ RYOT makes it a call to action. We are going to flip the news model on its head and it will be powerful. ‘ Ian has quite an extensive fan base of young people due to his easy accessibility via TV, personal appearance and Twitter and as he views young people as our ‘undervalued and underappreciated resource’ and knows they want to contribute to what’s going on in the world. His primary source of communication is Twitter which he uses constantly and feels that ‘social media has changed the world’. Ian will read something he values (especially our ecological or social problems) and put it on Twitter. Kids will notice it retweet it or tell family and friends about it and it snowballs resulting in ‘quantifiable change.’ ‘If you have a microphone that’s plugged into an amplifier it is wrong not to sing.’ You have to ‘amplify the voices around you’.
RYOT had a ‘Start a RYOT Challenge’ in which you had a month to donate to certain charities. During the time frame a total of $700,000 was raised. Ian and Grumpy the Cat became quite the Twitter phenomenon during the SXSW Festival in Austin Texas this year and had 52,000,000 mentions on that site. And one very funny conversation on the panel was when Peter said they wanted to get Grumpy Cat on the show but it wouldn’t work. They could get Ian, but Grumpy Cat was a little ‘high level’ for them.
To watch the entire innovative, informative and funny video please click onhttp://youtube.com/watch?v=DoDVx7HQrsc and thank you for the information.