Abigail Suzanne "Abby" Martin (born September 6, 1984) is an American journalist and presenter of The Empire Files, a weekly investigative news program on teleSUR Englishand YouTube. She was formerly the host of Breaking the Set on RT America network, working from the Washington, D.C. bureau. Before hosting her own show, she had worked for two years as a correspondent for RT America.
Martin is also an artist and activist, and helped found the citizen journalism website Media Roots. She serves on the board of directors for the Media Freedom Foundation which manages Project Censored. Martin appeared in the documentary film Project Censored The Movie: Ending the Reign of Junk Food News (2013), and co-directed 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (2013).
Martin began hosting her own show, Breaking the Set, on RT America in September 2012 from Washington, D.C. The show mixes media criticism with investigative journalism. It describes itself as "a show that cuts through the pre-written narrative that tries to tell you what to think, and what to care about", and as a show that "cuts through the false Left/Right paradigm set by the establishment & reports the hard facts". The original opening credits depict Martin applying a sledgehammer to a television tuned to CNN. A later version of the opening credits depicted Martin traveling in a helicopter over Manhattan's Central Park. According to Rolling Stone magazine, past shows investigated "Monsanto, Nestle, the U.S. federal electoral system, the drone program, the NSA, Israel, Obama, and water fluoridation".
Martin drew widespread media attention when she closed her show on March 3, 2014, with a minute-long statement condemning the Russian military intervention in Ukraine. She appeared to be reading from a teleprompter, leading observers to suppose that her remarks were made with the consent of the show's producers. Glenn Greenwald wrote a piece that compared Martin's statement favorably to the behavior of the United States media during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. RT also issued a statement saying: "Contrary to the popular opinion, RT doesn't beat its journalists into submission, and they are free to express their own opinions, not just in private but on the air."RT added: "We'll be sending her to Crimea to give her an opportunity to make up her own mind from the epi-centre of the story." Martin declined the offer, saying "I am not going to Crimea despite the statement RT has made."
The Breaking the Set program came to an end in February 2015, with Martin leaving RT and stating she had "decided to focus on investigative field reporting". Speaking for RT, Anna Belkina told BuzzFeed: "Abby decided that this is the time for her to try something new. We are proud of the great work she has done as the host of Breaking the Set."
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