BURNS, OR -- There are no local radio or TV stations in Burns, but one Harney County teen is filling that gap during the ongoing wildlife refuge occupation. Eighth grader Dustin Beers live streams nearly all of the occupation-related meetings and events on his DBTV YouTube channel.
His mom, Kelli Beers, tells KBND News he got the idea after watching other people’s coverage that he felt included too much commentary. "When he first started with the live feeds, it was because there was nobody here that would show the whole truth. There were other You-Tubers who would get on there and say their two-cents worth, but never just let people talk. So, he decided he was going to let people see the truth about the meetings that were happening."
Dustin says the community seems to appreciate his efforts. "They like to watch it when they can’t make it to whatever is going on. People have donated lots of money to help me get equipment. Me and my family have been overwhelmed with the support." His parents set up an online giving page to collect donations, after friends started asking how they could contribute to his efforts.
Kelli says those donations have already topped $1,200, "We had one big huge donor that donated to him, that wanted to remain anonymous. They interviewed him to see what his plans were with all of this." And, those plans don't include quitting. "After the standoff is over, I’m going to try film the football games and the sports games," Dustin says, "So the parents that can’t make it to their kids’ games can still watch it."
He hopes to eventually turn his YouTube channel into a revenue generating business. But, he says for now, he’s happy providing a community service.