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[REPORT] Joe Rogan, Tucker Carlson Lead Pack Of Influential Alternative Voices – But Are Their “News” Sources Reliable?

A new report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism examines the rise of alternative online influencers, creators, and personalities challenging mainstream media as key sources of news and information.

The research analyzes survey data from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Argentina, and Brazil to identify the most mentioned mainstream and alternative accounts that users pay attention to for news on major social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

In the United States, podcaster Joe Rogan and conservative commentator Tucker Carlson top the list of most mentioned individual alternative voices. The report notes that the top 10 most cited individual names “are known for political commentary or chat rather than original newsgathering.”

The top U.S. personalities are exclusively men who present “somewhere between a podcast and a TV broadcast—with mostly male hosts armed with oversized microphones talking to mostly male guests.” Their content is described as “partisan with little or no attempt to put the other side.”

[REPORT] Joe Rogan, Tucker Carlson Lead Pack Of Influential Alternative Voices - But Are Their “News” Sources Reliable?

Though alternative voices received more total mentions from the U.S. survey sample than traditional media outlets, the report states that mainstream media brands like CNN, Fox News, and the New York Times still account for 42% of mentions. CNN was cited five times more than Tucker Carlson’s account.

In the UK, mainstream journalists like James O’Brien, Robert Peston, and Piers Morgan make the top individual list, alongside partisan commentators from the left and right. Traditional UK news brands like the BBC and Sky News still dominate overall.

[REPORT] Joe Rogan, Tucker Carlson Lead Pack Of Influential Alternative Voices - But Are Their “News” Sources Reliable?

In France, YouTube star Hugo Décrypte, 27, stands out. His over 2.6 million YouTube subscribers make him “a leading news source for young French people.” His influence surpasses that of major French newspapers combined.

In Argentina and Brazil, the research identifies popular television personalities like Jorge Lanata and Alexandre Garcia extending their influence through YouTube and other platforms, sometimes spreading misinformation.

Celebrity journalists and entertainment influencers like Leo Dias in Brazil, who has over 15 million Instagram followers, demonstrate the “wide view of news” among younger audiences, encompassing updates on music, sports, fashion, and more.

Throughout the findings, the report highlights how populist politicians in Latin America are building massive direct audience connections across Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok to bypass traditional media scrutiny.

While not rendering judgment, the Reuters Institute study raises questions about the reliability of information shared by these influential but partisan alternative voices lacking journalistic rigor or accountability. Read the full report here.

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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