Youtube is now a mainstream hub for mediated public debate. However, Youtube is only the platform, it is the people who post videos and ask questions within this media that are responsible for the public sphere which exist. Youtube as an organisation loves creating a space in which conversations can be stimulated, that’s why they aided in the funding and production of a Youtube channel called SourceFed. SourceFed is run by multiple comedic Youtubers (or tubers) who post several videos a day about popular news stories and funny videos around the office.
This channel post 5 news stories a day from scientific and factual, to trivial and funny. Ending each video with a question to the audience, creating a mediated public sphere where the viewers can post comments in response to the questions. This new form of mediated public sphere can prompt a whole range of discussions. These discussions take place in many different media platforms, such as Facebook, Reddit, Twitter and of course the YouTube comments section.
This SourceFed video humorously explores the troubles North Koreans continue to face, the latest being a compulsory male haircut to be implemented around the entire country. The host themselves joke that this may not be newsworthy, so they mention a disregard in resolutions when North Korea fires off two medium range ballistic missiles. The video is then ended with a question to prompt viewer interaction and create a mediated public sphere.
Joe: “If you had to have the haircut of a political leader forced upon your head, which one would you choose?”
The channel also host a segment called ‘Comment Commentary’, in which the SourceFed host go through previous stories they posted throughout the week. Reading and talking about the comments they had received, again creating a mediated public sphere between the channel and the viewers.
This is an example of a modern mediated sphere involving millions of people, linking together several media platforms, doing so in a comedic way to engage their audience.
SourceFed Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4Q_cStfxD4
Comment Commentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHx0L838eI0