The Story Behind “Miami’s Like Most Super News Source, Bro”

Folks, there is finally a website that is making fun of Miami, the sunshine capital of the world, in the bro-tastic way ever.

Welcome: The Plantain

It is a satirical news website in the style of The Onion run by some folks at Engage Miami, a non-profit that seeks to raise youth involvement in Miami’s public life.

And by satirical, the creator of The Plantain, Justin Wales, means fake, even if it sometimes sounds somewhat real.

Here’s some recent headlines from the site:

Miami Herald to Drop Vowels in Cost Cutting Effort

Dolphin Expressway to be Converted to 15 Consecutive Miles of Toll Booths

Florida Orange Growers Protests Beyonce Concert Over Lemonade Release

“I would not take anything in The Plantain as factually accurate,” Sara Yousuf, a member of Engage Miami said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “The Plantain does not ask people to do things. It is certainly not a tool for political organizing, but it does create conversations and awareness about things that happen in Miami.”

The target of these bitting jokes are millennials from across South Florida who are from all walks of life.

According to the Census Bureau, millenials have become the largest population in the country, but they are also considered to be the most recent generation to become highly detached from political institutions, based on a study made by the Pew Research Center.

While millennials can be perceived as disconnected from the political process, Wales says that they are connected in terms of philosophy of thought.

“That connection means that you are able to mobilize much easier,” Wales said. “Examples like Black Lives Matter, the current Bernie Sander’s Campaign, even the previous presidential campaign for Obama showed that millennials were able to be connected through these movements.”

But in order for a movement to happen then people in it have to be able to connect with each other and have a common well of knowledge to draw upon.

“Any person can have access to any type of information,” Wales said. “We have seen over the course of the past years, the democratization of content, in which, any person can distribute information to whoever they want.”

To hone on this newfound democratized content flow, The Plantain’s content producers, some members of Engage Miami as well as other freelance writers, are providing humorous stories not only to entertain millennials, as well as other generations, but also to bring awareness to local issues in Miami.

“In order to communicate with young people, you need to speak to them at their level, through humor and other unique ways.” Wales said. “All this to present an idea and make it enticing for a reader to take it in.”

But political content is only interesting if it is fun according to Yousuf.

“There is something about satire that makes you laugh, and then it makes you think and ask questions,” Yousuf said. “We are making fun as who we are in Miami, but the point that we are trying to make is very real.”

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

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About the Author
Maria Constanza Serrano, born in Bogotá, Colombia, moved to Miami at age 18. Serrano has an associate’s degree in mass communication from Miami Dade College and a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in marketing at Florida International University. In 2014, she was recognized as the Next Top Intern at FIU by the SCRIPPS Howard Foundation. She has been published in the Miami Herald, the Beacon and South Florida News Service, was the lead-producer of the documentary “Sea Level Rise Impact: Canary in the Coal Mine,” and is now a fellow for RISE NEWS.
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