SourceFed’s Joe Bereta Delivers News Without Being a ‘News Guy’

/ Jun 7, 2014


About the time that Joe Bereta, of the BaratsAndBereta YouTube comedy duo, got the opportunity to join SourceFed, he was already thinking about taking a “life risk.” He told Rhett & Link more about his involvement at the “news” channel on “Ear Biscuits.”

Though he initially “felt weird” about joining the SourceFed team “since it was in the YouTube realm [and] you feel loyal to the thing [BaratsAndBereta] that you’re doing on the platform you’re doing it in,” Bereta ended up on the new YouTube show because he wanted a job other than the odd ones he was then working to make ends meet for his family. And, of course, the YouTube world started off as a relatively small one. Thus, Phil DeFranco, the creator of SourceFed, had known of Bereta and wanted to bring him on board, an invitation Bereta did not feel inclined to turn down.

Now, Bereta is the head writer of SourceFed, considering people’s pitches, choosing featured stories, and “listening to scripts.” Having wanted to do something “fun and different,” Bereta’s happy on the “news show”…but he wouldn’t be thrilled if you called it that. He considers SourceFed as first entertainment, then informational.

In fact, Bereta felt it was safe to say, “Of everybody on SourceFed, none of them thinks they’re a news guy…we all consider ourselves entertainers that are creating on a news aggregate.” Though the cast reseraches and reads other people’s “actual journalism,” their main focus lies in turning these news stories into something entertaining.

“We are a connector to journalism…for people who don’t want to watch CNN. We open doors to that world,” Bereta explained of his non-journalistic role. He went on to call it a “horrible decision” for people to watch SourceFed as their sole news source. If anything, he believes that the people at SourceFed should be called “news personalities.”

However, Rhett & Link could relate to communicating stories that others have done the work on, as they do this all the time in “Good Mythical Morning,” leading Bereta to elaborate on any sense of journalistic integrity he feels the need to uphold. “I do agree there is a responsibility with us to present [news] in not just an entertaining way,” he said. He further described an instance in which a news-recounting SourceFed video of his garnered criticism due to Bereta’s “bias.” A woman had hit and killed a kid with her car, after which she ended up suing the family (and the deceased child) for money, prompting a “reactionary” video from Bereta.

Having taken the resulting criticism into account, Bereta stepped back and created a second video that looked into both sides of the story…delivering his personal opinion at the end. Beyond being a “news personality” on SourceFed, Bereta acknowledged that he’s also an “internet personality,” which entails having an opinion that viewers care about.

The essence of fame on YouTube lies in having a personality that people embrace and relate to, after all. Both Bereta and Rhett & Link go into this aspect of digital stardom on this week’s “Ear Biscuits.”

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