A new era of journalism: Channel 5 News with Andrew Callaghan

Senior+and+Editor-in-Chief+of+the+Spartan+Shield+print+publication+Allisa+Pandit+informs+students+on+the+importance+of+authentic+journalism%2C+a+virtue+of+Andrew+Callaghan+and+Channel+5+News.

Lila Teitle

Senior and Editor-in-Chief of the Spartan Shield print publication Allisa Pandit informs students on the importance of authentic journalism, a virtue of Andrew Callaghan and Channel 5 News.

Jayne Abraham, Editor in Chief

With the prevalence of the fake news narrative, many wonder if the journalism field will ever regain its reputation. Journalist Andrew Callaghan and his team at Channel 5 News provide hope for a new era of journalism, one that lets the people do the talking.

In a YouTube documentary with VICE, Callaghan described himself as a “young creative with his finger on the pulse, 3.4 GPA, multimedia journalist, interested in creating anthropological road based study of American oddity.” 

“I just want to show people how crazy things actually are,” Callaghan stated in the same interview. And he has done just that. 

Sporting an oversized suit and asking minimal questions, Callaghan exercises his seemingly innate ability to draw both heartbreaking and hilarious responses out of people from all walks of life in these viral videos. 

Callaghan’s love for journalism was born in high school and only grew when he got a full scholarship to Loyola University in New Orleans. He told VICE that although he did not feel he learned much from going to college, the structure of his lifestyle during those four years was enough to keep him in line.

When Callaghan was 19-years-old, he started hitchhiking. He would bring a recorder and just have conversations with people. Eventually, he started making videos talking to people on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Out of Callaghan’s love for traveling and documenting his strange encounters, the premise of the show was born.

But his inclination to constantly move around and interact with strangers is a result of an unexpected truth. Callaghan has Hallucinogenic Post-Perception Disorder (HPPD) as a result of permanent brain damage from taking hallucinogens at a young age. As a result of his consumption of drugs, Callaghan developed severe depersonalization disorder. Traveling the country and interacting with strangers helped ground him. 

But Callaghan does not do it alone. He travels in an RV with his cameraman Nic Mosher and his production manager Evan Gilbert-Katz. Before the three are coworkers, they are friends with a passion for journalism and an eye for comedy.

Callaghan and his team feed off of authenticity, both when looking for content and when interviewing people, only playing up the naivety, as Callaghan told VICE. 

However, before Callaghan and his crew were known as Channel 5 News, they were All Gas No Brakes, their original YouTube channel where they posted videos interviewing people at America’s most eccentric conventions. 

With All Gas No Brakes taking off, Callaghan decided to sign with the company Doing Things Media. This company provided him with an RV to attend everything from the Midwest FurFest to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, a $45,000 salary and money for camera equipment. However, Doing Things Media soon attempted to censor Callaghan, encouraging him to stay out of political events. 

Despite their request, Callaghan continued to attend political protests and eventually asked Doing Things Media for more money for his work and to be released from the contract. Days later, Callaghan lost all access to the All Gas No Brakes YouTube channel, which had garnered over one million subscribers.

All Gas No Brakes fans awaited Callaghan’s next move anxiously. On April 11, 2021, Callaghan returned with a video titled “Miami Beach Spring Break” on his new YouTube channel “Channel 5 News with Andrew Callaghan.” After an unfavorable end to the beloved All Gas No Breaks, fans were ecstatic to see the return of Callaghan’s man-on-the-street-style interviews. 

With only eight videos, the Channel 5 News YouTube channel has become a hit over the past five months. Almost all of the videos have over one million views, and the channel has over 966,000 subscribers. 

In a video titled “Q Conference,” Callaghan simply asked a woman, “Where do you get your news from?” She paused, then answered, “From divine source, from God.” In another video titled “Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict,” Callaghan held a mic to a man who passionately said, “When people kill in the hood, they get life for it; they go to jail. Cops, they get a motherf**king paid leave when they kill us….We tired bro; we hurting…”

Covering a wide range of topics and events and drawing an even wider range of responses, Callaghan has provided a new, refreshing take on journalism. 

Senior Ethan Kilcoin is an avid fan of Channel 5 News. “They are creating a more unabridged version of media with every video they post. I find it interesting how they use comedy to get viewers to come back but every now and then they have really insightful commentary on current national issues. It’s a really nuanced approach to media coverage,” he said. 

Young people like Kilcoin are attracted to this new, authentic take on journalism. Perhaps Callaghan and Channel 5 News will serve as trailblazers for a new wave of journalism during such a politically tense time in America.