By Mark Wachtler
April 29, 2015. Washington. (ONN) Our favorite independent journalist - Abby Martin - made news herself two months ago when she ended her show Breaking the Set and left RT America. Speculation abounded about what caused the show’s sudden cancellation. Martin’s fans however, were more concerned for their favorite reporter and openly wondered what her next endeavor would be. We tracked down Abby and she’s still fighting the good fight from her own outlet Media Roots.
Abby Martin is still breaking the set, just from her own indy media outlet MediaRoots.org. Image courtesy of Saskia Koerner and MillennialMagazine.com.
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Your author calls Abby Martin his journalistic hero for one simple reason. After spending a hair-pulling 25 years watching television news casts that were nothing more than corporate and government propaganda, word began to spread about a new show on a new network with an amazing new anchor named Abby Martin. The show was Breaking the Set, a half-hour TV news show airing on RT. And while the network is owned by the Russian government, its American affiliate produced some of the most uncensored and independent news casts in the US.
Read the 2013 Whiteout Press article, ‘Abby Martin - Indy Media’s Rising Star’ for additional details.
Breaking the Set ends
In February, Abby Martin gave her fans and RT two weeks notice that she was leaving the network. Questions and rumors rapidly spread among America’s social and political activists regarding her sudden departure. Martin was famous for refusing to blindly accept the questionable narratives provided by both the US government and her network’s owner, the Russian government. Truly an independent voice, she was stuck between the globe’s two most powerful entities and she refused to tow the party line for either one.
Since Abby Martin’s departure coincided with Vladimir Putin’s mysterious week-long disappearance, many suspected there were new executives overseeing the American affiliate of the Russian television station. The rumor was that they either cancelled her independent show or they gave her an editorial ultimatum to stop criticizing Moscow and she refused and instead resigned. But none of those suspicions were ever substantiated. Instead, RT America released a statement confirming Abby Martin left the network. After three years of Breaking the Set, it was simply time to move on.
After reaching out to both parties for a comment on the show’s sudden cancellation, BuzzFeed reported RT’s response, ‘”Abby decided that this is the time for her to try something new,” said RT spokesperson Anna Belkina to BuzzFeed News, “We are proud of the great work she has done as the host of Breaking the Set.”’
Abby Martin released her own statement saying, “RT has given me opportunities I will be eternally thankful for and hosting Breaking the Set has been the best and most invaluable experience of my life. I never imagined the kind of support it would generate, proving how many people are hungry for raw truth and systemic change…After almost three years of reporting from the studio I’ve decided to focus on investigative field reporting.”
Assuring her diehard fans that she isn’t disappearing all together, Martin went on to say, “Please note I’m not stopping or going anywhere. If I can’t find a platform to host my show vision with the same editorial freedom, I will turn to crowdsourcing. And until I establish my next venture I’ll be writing daily, podcasting, producing video shorts and doing talks around the world.”
Back home at Media Roots
True to her word, Abby Martin has been as busy as ever since her departure from RT America. Much like Whiteout Press is to this author, MediaRoots.org is Abby Martin’s own creation and the vehicle by which she produces and distributes her own independent newscasts, editorials, and lately, traveling the world being interviewed by other indy media outlets.
A month after leaving Breaking the Set, Abby Martin travelled to Germany where she was honored as one of the presenters at the Zeitgeist Festival in Berlin. Afterward, she told her own readers and viewers, “There I met a huge contingent of change agents taking it upon themselves to create new mediums of sharing and access. One of the battle fronts is new media. acTVism Munich is a group that’s building a network of information ignored by the corporate media. I sat down with them to discuss the global renaissance of citizen journalism and what it means to be an activist journalist.”
After her productive trip to Germany, Abby Martin travelled across the US to do the Joe Rogan show in Los Angeles. This isn’t the first time the two have worked on-air together. Rogan, whose show is called the Joe Rogan Experience, was a past guest on Breaking the Set. “I always love joining Joe while in LA,” Abby said after the appearance, “And recently got to discuss with him everything from Islam to the need for a new economic model.”
A favorite of passionate activists on both the left and the right, Abby Martin is still bringing the truth to the American people, just not from our living room TV sets at the moment. But if she eventually goes the route of crowd-funding a new endeavor, the wildly popular news anchor could find herself with not just her own new show, but her own network. As always, Whiteout Press conveys our most sincere appreciation to Abby Martin and we look forward to seeing what she does next.
For more information, visit Abby Martin’s MediaRoots.org.