Credit: Lyn Averson, Mount Studio via Creative Commons

Nuseir Yassin is a Palestinian born in Israel. He says that neither side really trusts him: Israelis because of his heritage and Palestinians because of his birthplace.

That has not stopped Yassin - better known as Nas - from racking up millions of followers across the internet for the media company he founded, Nas Daily. According to the latest figures, the channel has nearly 40m followers across platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. There is also the 8.7m daily views and 14m daily reach. It is the kind of numbers news organisations can only dream about.

Nas became well-known for completing a 1,000-day challenge, posting a one-minute video every day while travelling the world, in 2019. During this time, he told human stories from remote corners of the globe.

After finishing the challenge, he went on to create his own production company and an academy, open several offices around the world, launch a podcast and write a book.

Throughout all of this, his mission was to "show you the most incredible humans on planet Earth". But not all of the content is about inspiring young entrepreneurs or vegan villages. There is a fair share of tough subjects explored too.

Nas, a self-proclaimed "journalist in disguise", does not shy away from letting his opinion come across. When it comes to Israel and Palestine, for example, he wants the countries to find a peaceful two-state solution and put an end to the bloodshed.

Journalists, however, are taught to be impartial. The problem is that social algorithms tend to favour opinionated content creators who then crowd out more balanced views.

"Organisations like Nas Daily are taking attention away from mainstream media," he said at DW News' Global Media Forum. "The question is whether you are comfortable with some schmuck like me taking your lunch away?

"You [now] have to cook your own lunch. I really think [mainstream media] is our only hope for a better future. But 5,000 or even 5m views is not enough in today's world, we need to find a way to get [organisations like] DW 500m views every day.

The question is whether you are comfortable with some schmuck like me taking your lunch away.

"You have to develop 500 more people like you [Max Hofmann, DW head of news]. People love people, not the institution. I fell in love with Anderson Cooper, I don't care about CNN. People love Nas Daily because they saw me in it, they're attracted to an individual and they trust me with the information."

We are seeing more of this with the recent arrival of GB News on British television screens last weekend, a commentary-led channel that follows the news agenda.

But without becoming slaves to algorithms and straying dangerously into activism and partisanship, are there any valuable lessons from Nas' global success?

"Ditch the million-dollar studio," he advises, recommending a more casual approach of mobile phones or some basic field equipment. "The moment you see a million-dollar studio, you realise this is part of an institution."

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to our free daily newsletter and get our stories delivered straight into your inbox every morning.

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).