We are Aadil Razack and Cheng-Ying Tsai aka Justin, two content creation directors from Ampheros Media. Ask us anything!

Ampheros Media is an organization made up of Gen Z students from around the world who provide unbiased journalistic accounts of Gen Z’s coming impacts in the following decades.  The Ampheros Journalism site, Ampheros Podcasting, and Ampheros YouTube channel are all extensions of the organization. We don’t limit our definition of minorities to race.  A minority is any group not in the majority, but with an important opinion nonetheless.  We believe that this is imperative to avoiding the problems that many democracies today face with populism and misinformation, even if the subject matter is already widely established. Feel free to visit us at ampheros.com!

Proof 1

Proof Aadil is real

Proof Justin is in

Edit: since this seems to be a common question, we don't proclaim ourselves to be the most credible news organization. One of our goals is to provide students with the opportunity to create articles, documentaries, or podcasts that covers areas that aren't common seen. At the end of the day, we're students with a passion for journalism, not professionals.

Edit 2: I guess that's that. It's been a very fruitful discussion; time for dinner. We sort of lost track of questions halfway through so if we haven't answered you and you still want us to reply, just tag us in your comment. Thanks to everyone for participating, wishing us well, and above all, providing us with much-needed constructive criticism on how to better develop and present our organization. Cheers!

Comments: 214 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

omicronperseiVIII91 karma

Why did you name your organization after an electric type Pokémon? Is there any special meaning to that?

AmpherosMedia20 karma

Hey, Cheng-Ying here. I knew this question was going to come up sooner or later, and the answer is no: it was spat out by a random name generator, sounded nice enough as a placeholder, and it just stuck.

One day we'll find a good explanation for it beyond "fate I guess" though!

Quijanoth51 karma

We don’t limit our definition of minorities to race. A minority is any group not in the majority, but with an important opinion nonetheless. 

I'm struggling with this definition. Are we talking pure population numbers? How, precisely, are you using the words "minority" and "majority?"

Maybe the easier question to ask: why not just focus on Gen Z generally, rather than create content from the loaded position of "us" versus "them?" Aren't you kind of contributing to the the "problems that many democracies today face with populism...?"

AmpherosMedia0 karma

We apologise if it seems that way; at the end of the day we use "minority" to mean "any voice or opinion that deserves to be heard but often isn't." For example social issues or observations that are often glossed over by most media sources either in the US or in other countries. We don't seek to cause any divide, rather to be a media outlet for the underrepresented or underreported

TheTrueLordHumungous40 karma

When you say “minority” isn’t only confined to ethnicity with respect to your reporting, how do you determine which minority political perspective deserves attention and which doesn’t? So far right and far left political minorities have equal weight in your publication?

AmpherosMedia-22 karma

[Justin speaking]

We do try to report with as little bias as we can.

Regarding minorities: personally, my articles are mostly on the aspects of education that aren't talked about much by (mainstream) media. Politics is not always, or even often, a centerpiece of our reporting

Gunslingering37 karma

Why did you misspell ampharos?

AmpherosMedia-6 karma

According to our founder, a random name generator spelled the name to Ampharos's twin :)

InterestingUnit025 karma

While I believe that the voices of minorities must under all circumstances be heard, in a democratic system, the majority still matters most.

I light of this, I feel concerned that in todays western world, minorities seem to often pressure part of the public into agreeing with them by using half-truths, guilt or perceived debt. It seems to me that the majority often does not have a voice loud enough to compete with them and so small minorities look like they are on the brink of being the majority, when in fact they do not even make up one percent of the general population.

What do you think of this?

AmpherosMedia-2 karma

That's a valid concern. We try to circumvent the issue of pressuring the public by providing as much factual information wherever possible. Therefore, the public's response will be based on the beliefs that they themselves form, rather than what is believed by journalists. Obviously completely unbiased journalism isn't possible, but we aim to get close to it by providing a larger picture.

In regards to minority populations overtaking majority populations, we believe that major news outlets already play the role of extensively covering majority populations. Therefore, we play the role of covering the situations that minority populations find themselves in so that there is a balance between all groups of people. If there comes a time in which current minority populations dominate the media, we'll be ready to adapt to the situation.

AVDLatex25 karma

This is the first definition of populism that I found on the internet. How is that a bad thing?

a political approach that strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.

AmpherosMedia2 karma

Good question! We don't believe that populism itself has a negative impact. However, it can result in media outlets tailoring themselves to specific news stories that are centered on populist groups rather than creating stories on a large variety of people. One of our goals with Ampheros is to provide journalism with relation to minority populations, which has seen a decline as the result of populism in many countries.

SpartaWillBurn5 karma

How are you going to achieve this?

AmpherosMedia2 karma

First and foremost, by directly reporting on said people's and relevant issues. For example there were quite a few articles on Taiwanese indigenous peoples, and then another about low-income and/or underprivileged students. We admittedly got a bit sidetracked with the recent pandemic, but there will be more reports on "minorities" in the (near) future!

VESTINGboot17 karma

What is journalism besides yourselves do you actively consume and why?

AmpherosMedia-17 karma

A news source that we often reference is Vox, not because of its political views, but because of its style and level of professionalism. We understand that Vox has a very successful model, so we look to them for inspiration.

Edit: In case it wasn't clear, our views DO NOT coincide with Vox. Vox is undoubtedly a left-leaning news source, which we do not take inspiration from. However, it undeniably goes very in-depth with the issues that it covers, citing statistics, research, studies, and credible officials. If you want to know about a news source who we share similar views with, I wouldn't be able to give you an answer due to the variety of the content we produce.

200lbCorgi40 karma

Seems odd though that you want to be unbiased but cite Vox.

AmpherosMedia5 karma

I did mention that we disregard Vox's political views. We only take inspiration in the style of their journalism. Besides Vox, we look to AP, BBC, and Reuters for inspiration. For clarification, our views don't coincide with any of these sources.

brodymulligan13 karma

What is the structure of your organization, and what is your largest ledger line expense item? What is your annual operating budget?

AmpherosMedia11 karma

Operations-wise we have content creation, website design, social media, and media production. Of content creation, which is our biggest division, we are divided into geographical regions: North/South America make up Region One, Russia/EU/Middle East make up Region Two, and the Asia-Pacific region makes up Region Three. This helps keep track of members.

Regional directors host regional meetings for announcements, region-specific projects, progress reports, and feedback. Then there are (less frequent) director meetings that ensure everything is on track and everyone is still on the same page.

Since we're a student organization, funding is minimal. We get funds from competition and scholarships, but as a part of our goal to be as unbiased as possible we're being extra careful with who we go to when seeking sponsorship from individuals or organizations. As such, there isn't much of an operating budget to speak of. (Also we're only barely one year old so there's an issue with the "annual" part)

rcc73719 karma

Are you willing to be open and honest about your funding? Where specifically do you get it? What organizations or scholarship funds are providing for you?

Also my dad was in journalism from the late 1960's through the mid 1990's. We've talked about his career. One subject that came up was coined "sacred cows" in the industry. Basically he wasn't allowed to publish negative articles for various reasons (funding, friendships, etc.).

Do you have any sacred cows?

AmpherosMedia5 karma

If there's a sacred cow, we have yet to hear it moo. There haven't been any "suggestions" as to what we should/shouldn't write about. The organizations/scholarships are all applied to on an individual basis (eg. competitions, events, scholarships members of the administrative team apply to as individuals).

That said, I'll ask our founder/manager for a precise sponsor because I know a while ago we just secured a small amount of funds from an investor recently. We'll get back to you in a few.

brodymulligan1 karma

Did you get back to him and what was your response? Who was the investor? Disclose it publicly. Thanks.

AmpherosMedia1 karma

!RemindMe 1 day

photurisphotinus8 karma

What about Africa?

AmpherosMedia2 karma

To the best of my knowledge no African members currently residing in the region have applied, but if they do they will most likely be placed under Region Two until there are enough members in the time zone range to split into their own region

brodymulligan1 karma

Right on. Best of luck.

AmpherosMedia1 karma

Thank you! Have a good day too!

_FaunaAndFirearms_12 karma

[deleted]

AmpherosMedia3 karma

Not at the moment. Our content on the Middle East in general is lacking, so we're looking to expand upon it.

Don_Lupa12 karma

How do you find and research your minorities?

AmpherosMedia7 karma

As an addendum from Justin: our being international seriously helps, as everyone can cover a different corner of a difference country. Many of members also participate in multiple student organizations so that helps us keep an eye out.

Personally, I'm a Taiwanese student living in Taiwan, so I cover a fair bit about our indigenous tribes and education. Research on the former is done through visiting tribal areas directly, conversing with such individuals in various positions in society, and accessing data available online, among other methods that I stumble upon through random occurrences or opportunities

rerumverborumquecano1 karma

Follow up, are you guys making any effort to increase writers from different backgrounds?

Your cultural identity tab only lists East Asian, Native (native to where?), and Middle East, doesn't that feel a little empty and lacking for a group that identifies itself as for minorities?

Those places are diverse and have minority groups and people from those areas are minorities in other countries. But in a world where there's racism against black people in many Asian countries and where Black and Latino minorities have deal with the success of Asian immigrants being used against them to both dismiss their complaints and as justification for racism by white supremacists, idk it seems like a pretty big blindspot to not have anyone of African or Latin American origin in your group.

AmpherosMedia2 karma

We are currently trying to increase international recruitment, especially beyond (as you pointed out) East Asia. Success has been limited, but we're working on it!

As for the "cultural identity" tab, it's marked as such for the sake of easier sorting and avoiding fragmentation — it's easier to mark them by geographical region, lest we end up with a couple dozen items in the drop-down list with just one article each.

AmpherosMedia3 karma

Oftentimes we'll cover topics that we believe are pertinent to the world. For research, we'll carry out interviews with those that we can get in contact with or use online resources that are already available.

Iamthenewme11 karma

Do you have any plans to contact the tribal minorities in any country? Their lifestyles and even their lives are under threat in many countries, but they're voices are rarely heard.

By the way, I tried visiting ampheros.com , but the front page seems to contain nothing about minorities, it looks like a general Covid-19 news source with an international view. Nothing particularly wrong with that, since the topics seemed interesting and diverse, but you may want to represent your mission better in your front page. (Also, not sure if it's a mobile issue, but a lot of the news items were repeats, most of them appeared twice or thrice when scrolling down to the bottom.)

AmpherosMedia6 karma

We definitely plan to contact tribal minorities. We have done journalism about them in the past, but we are always looking to get a fresh perspective.

I agree that our site isn't in the best shape right now. The majority of the news on our front page consists of COVID-19 information. Our plan was to provide news that was the most relevant at the time, but we'll now shift back to covering minority populations as we had in the past.

AmpherosMedia4 karma

Right. That's something to do with the website sorting; since the outbreak, most submissions have had something to do with the coronavirus, and so the front page is kind of overloaded with them. The website was redesigned just a few months ago so there are still little issues like this to iron out.

If you use the drop-down menu to see various categories, though, you'll see quite a few buried posts about other stuff.

Returning to the minorities part: we do, more or less so. Obviously now it's not as easy what with travel restrictions, but for example, I was in frequent contact with members of Taiwanese indigenous tribes while doing my articles on indigenous issues last summer. I know a few members with articles in the works are also doing similar things

gopalkaul511 karma

Will you care enough to cover Kashmiri Pandits?

AmpherosMedia8 karma

There was an article in the works about Kashmiri Pandits, but we felt that there wasn't much new information to discuss that wasn't already available from other news sources. It's definitely a topic that we'll consider returning to in the future!

KnifingMaurader9 karma

Does your name have anything to do with the pokemon?

AmpherosMedia7 karma

No. At least, not until we come up with a backstory.

Just kidding, we're not going to make a fake backstory just for the sake of it

Sergio_Morozov9 karma

How much content did you create on Russian minority in the USA?

How much content did you create on Russian minority in the Ukraine?

How much content did you create on Russian minority in the three Baltic States?

How many of the previous questions you've answered as "None" ?

AmpherosMedia6 karma

We'll look to cover Russian minority populations in the future.

Sergio_Morozov2 karma

Well then, good luck and take care.

AmpherosMedia1 karma

Thank you!

husker91kyle6 karma

Why only focus on minority populations? Why do you hate white people?

AmpherosMedia3 karma

I beg your pardon?

Dukkas5 karma

Where do you want to be as a company in 5 years? And in ten?

AmpherosMedia0 karma

In 5 years, on the front page of Google results whether you search for "Ampheros" or "Ampharos."

In 10, hopefully we'll have a steady member base in many more countries, and be recognized as a media source even where we don't advertise ourselves.

rerumverborumquecano3 karma

Is your group making any active effort to increase writers from different backgrounds?

Your cultural identity tab only lists East Asian, Native (native to where?), and Middle East, doesn't that feel a little empty and lacking for a group that identifies itself as for minorities?

Those places are diverse and have minority groups and people from those areas are minorities in other countries. But in a world where there's racism against black people in many Asian countries and where Black and Latino minorities have deal with the success of Asian immigrants being used against them to both dismiss their complaints and as justification for racism by white supremacists, idk it seems like a pretty big blindspot to not have anyone of African or Latin American origin in your group.

AmpherosMedia2 karma

We don't actively search for people to apply besides publicizing ourselves on social media, but we would love for people from diverse backgrounds to apply. We did have people of African and Latin American origin in our organization beforehand, but the reality of having an internet-based organization is that its very easy for people to lose their motivation and leave without a word due to a disconnect with other members. I completely agree with the fact that we could use more African and Latin American representation, so we're always looking for people to apply to our organization.

TurboMollusk3 karma

In your opinion what differentiates a journalist from an activist?

AmpherosMedia2 karma

A journalist would make an attempt to be as objective as possible, whereas an activist would have their content focus on supporting a certain agenda. Journalism would be characterized by providing credible information that portrays the entire reality of a situation rather than pander to a certain viewpoint. Through journalism, people are able to form opinions that are independent from the opinions of the journalists themselves. There is some debate on whether journalism and activism can overlap and where the line between the two needs to be drawn, but this is the view that I hold at the moment.

Airbee3 karma

Will you be delivering unbiased information, or placing a spin on things for a specific agenda?

AmpherosMedia1 karma

We try to make our reports as neutral as possible. We've got no affiliation with any particular group, so there's no "agenda" here, though I do admit occasionally we do let personal viewpoints interfere with neutrality if we're not being careful enough

Sophie_3333 karma

In what countries are you active? How do you reach out to people? And what kind of stories do you make?

AmpherosMedia10 karma

[Justin speaking]

I'm Taiwanese based in Taiwan, my region consists of members from Taiwan, China, India, Pakistan, and the UAE. There are European and Russian members, among others, in Region Two. Region One is mostly US but I believe we have operations in South American countries too.

We find and reach out to people either via email, acquaintances of acquaintances (of acquaintances... it's acquaintances all the way down), the internet, or the occasional "we just happened to meet at an event" connection.

Stories wise, we cover current news, education, tribal and cultural minorities, and last October there was a brief run of short horror stories that tied into social issues we wanted to bring to light

AmpherosMedia5 karma

We have members from Taiwan, Russia, USA, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, etc. We reach out to people through word of mouth and social media outlets, like Instagram and Reddit. Our stories tend to be relevant to current events while also providing a fresh perspective that isn't found in major news outlets.

CorruptMann3 karma

How much money you make?

AmpherosMedia8 karma

None. No, really

bvb1242 karma

Did you start as mareep media before evolving?

AmpherosMedia1 karma

No comment. (We don't look so flattering in our baby pictures, so shhh)

wertu12212 karma

Are you planning to cover Uygurs? As you have presence in Asia you should think about it...

AmpherosMedia1 karma

We do plan to do so! Stay tuned

200lbCorgi2 karma

Did any of you have experience with reporting and the topics you report on prior to joining? I read through a few articles but I feel like I'm getting that "school essay" vibe.

AmpherosMedia1 karma

It's understandable that you feel the "school essay" vibe. Most of us do have experience with journalism, but there are others that join us who don't necessarily do. We don't aim to be the most credible news source in the world, but rather provide an opportunity for high school students who are interested in journalism to explore it.

Dic3dCarrots1 karma

How do you see yourself interacting with the mainstream news currents? Do you feel like it's your responsibility to have your own reporting on the major stories large outlets are carrying? How does your stated goal of representing minority voices influence how you find and choose stories?

AmpherosMedia1 karma

Our stories traditionally tend to provide a fresh perspective on what major news outlets cover. For instance, if coverage of the coronavirus from major news outlets mainly consists of its medical impact, we'll expand on the subject by writing about its impact on computer science. If we see that major news outlets cover every aspect of a situation, then we don't believe that there is a need to report on it.

Choosing stories is dependent on the writers themselves. While directors play a supervising role in regards to which stories it selects and which stories it believes won't make a large contribution, the stories are independently chosen by each writer. If a story that a writer proposes is relatively mainstream and doesn't provide a fresh perspective, I'll ask the writer to make changes. For example, I'll turn down stories that discuss the federal government's response to the coronavirus, since that information is relatively mainstream.

DrRobotniksMachine1 karma

Are there any news outlets which you find have more journalistic integrity than others? Who are your favourite journalists?

AmpherosMedia1 karma

Each member has their own preferred/favorite news outlet or journalist, so I can't really comment on that.

That said, personally, here in Taiwan I typically read from four sources—two per political affiliation—and let their bias cancel each other out, then take whatever facts are left with several grains of salt.

DrRobotniksMachine1 karma

I was asking because I've noticed many of your articles are opinion pieces with pretty obvious bias and was wondering what you were using as a journalistic template.

AmpherosMedia1 karma

I see. Every member has their own template, I suppose, but we will look into conducting centralized training on filtering and removing bias! Thank you for pointing this out

BELWIFHWOZB1 karma

[removed]

AmpherosMedia4 karma

Face and heart

top_kek_top1 karma

If there was an organization dedicated to journalism on white people would it be accepted in society?

AmpherosMedia1 karma

We don't see why it wouldn't, unless it is prejudiced against others. In that case, it doesn't matter what the organization is dedicated to, it won't be accepted

ColombianDrama0 karma

Does Ampheros Media care enough about the minority language communities in the US, too?

By the way, I'm not a GenZ'er like you youngbloods. I'm actually a Millennial. Not a journalist, either, but simply someone who's observed injustices taking place in at least 2 states, involving linguistic minorities and LEP (Limited English Proficiency) , which is one way the government calls people who don't speak English.

If I'm interested in speaking with someone, who can I contact?

Thank you in advance

AmpherosMedia5 karma

Definitely! We're always looking for new stories to cover. Head over to https://ampheros.com/contact/ to contact us.

ananyadutta05-1 karma

are you guys currently hiring by any chance?

AmpherosMedia1 karma

No one in our organization gets paid (at least not yet), but you can always head over to ampheros.com if you're looking to contribute via content creation, social media, website design, or other avenues.

AlmightyBuddha-1 karma

How can one join you, without having a degree in journalism but has a passion and a heart for contributing something to society and journalism?

AmpherosMedia5 karma

Feel free to reach out at ampheros.com/get-involved ! Anyone with passion and faith in their skillset is welcome to apply

rossreiland-2 karma

God most of these comments and questions are death. Good luck to you and your team, this is quite the uphill battle.

If you're still answering questions: what's one thing that has been a lesson learned, or what's something that's worked in your efforts so far?

AmpherosMedia4 karma

Thanks for the kind words; Aadil and I are working in shifts, and I'm just dropping by during his, so I'll be back in a few hours when I wake up. (Hang in there Aadil!)

With that out of the way, one pretty eye-opening lesson I've discovered from my time at Ampheros is how much high school students actually care about these issues. One would expect them (okay, us) to join just to buff up our college application resumes or something but then you see some, like me, staying well after college applications have ended and then voluntarily taking up bigger projects.

Then during Ampheros application interviews you hear some kids divulge issues they've seen and want to write about in their daily lives, and you feel like even if Ampheros does end up being a flop and we don't manage to make a whole lot of difference in the big picture, at least one good thing came out of us: these students got their word out there with their own power, their own strength. And I'd say it's empowering.