Over 11 years and multiple media, The Young Turks have offered its audience a lively, viable alternative to mainstream news.
Its YouTube channel has 1.3 million subscribers, and an average of 55 million views of a month. When this sizable audience is broken down by nationality, Canadians form the second-largest component. But not only are The Young Turks’ Canadian fans numerous, they’re also some of the network’s most supportive. And that support is what’s going to be bringing fans of The Young Turks together at a pizza parlor in Trail, BC.
Sean Mackinlay, the manager of 2 For 1 Pizza, has been a fan of The Young Turks for years. When The Young Turks began their Indiegogo campaign for a new studio space a month ago, there was no doubt that Mackinlay would rally his staff to donate. Fifteen bucks from one staff member here, 20 from another one or two—but with Sean pitching in the lion’s share, the staff was able to put $5,000 forward to support the campaign. For $5000, they’ll have a camera named in the pizzeria’s honour.
The campaign, with just over three weeks left to go, looks to be well on its way to making its $250,000 goal, with just less than $75,000 to be raised. Five thousand dollars might seem like a drop in that ocean—but it’s not nothing to Cenk Uygur, the central host and cofounder of The Young Turks, nor is Canada’s fondness for his network.
“In some ways, it’s obvious, but Canada is not that large in terms of population. The fact that (the audience’s size) beats the UK, Germany, India, all these giant countries that are also in the top 10 is pretty cool,” he explains. “Politically, I feel like TYT is incredibly simpatico with Canadian viewers. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gotten viewers commenting that ‘you want America to be more like Canada’. So I think that has something to do with it.”
Sean Mackinlay’s fondness for TYT Network first emerged when he was studying abroad in South Korea in 2006; CNN and BBC’s international focus wasn’t what he was after, he couldn’t get CBC, and the AFN just rebroadcast the same thing. He stumbled upon the platform by sheer coincidence, and for the the last six months or so, TYT has playing in store for Trail’s pizza fans. Soon, more and more of 2 for 1 Pizza’s fans counted themselves as fans of the network as well.
And to the Young Turks, that’s cause for celebration. The Young Turks have taken it on themselves as a fan initiative to throw meetups, organized by the organization’s Bannermen that allow fans of TYT meet and build momentum to carry out what they want to do. Sean Mckinlay’s not just a pizza shop manager; he’s also on the Trail City Council.
“We want to talk about issues and talk about how to move forward—this kind of meetup gives us the opportunity to do it,” he says. “January 13, 2014, we’re going to host a meetup and since people are already talking about the camera, there’s already people talking about us.“
A rising tide lifts all ships–whether Canadian or American, food service or media. The Internet is international waters.