It seems almost every reporter, anchor, radio host or ‘influencer’ out there likes to point out they are giving you information that ‘the mainstream media won’t report on.” Sometimes it’s information the mainstream media “wouldn’t dare report on.”
I would offer that if you are trying to interpret the media landscape today, remove the notion of the mainstream media from your thinking because it doesn’t exist anymore.
The modifier mainstream implied wide distribution and consumption, which meant influence, which meant power. While the venerable New York Times has a circulation of ~2 million (1.4 million digital only subscriptions and 600,000 print subscriptions), a big number, it cannot compete with even second tier social networks (i.e. not Facebook). Reddit, for instance, has ~540 million visitors per month. Tumblr has a (disputed) 300 million monthly visitors.