Chumel Torres is a widely known Mexican social media personality who has completely changed the way Mexicans watch news with his YouTube news channel El Pulso de la Republica. Until before Torres began his channel, news in Mexico was actually fabricated content that first went under the knives of back-room deals between the corporate conglomerates and government before going on air. Viewers were highly frustrated with the Mexican mainstream media as it seemed to be the voice of the powerful and the rich rather than the voice of truth. It was a casual attempt by Torres to circumvent the censorship that characterized Mexican television that led to the birth of his channel. His show, El Pulso, provides a Daily Show-esque look at life and politics in Mexico and around the world. Through Torres claims to borrow cues from US satirical news stars Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, he has added his own nerdy and irreverent style to it. Though many claim him to be a political radical, he considers himself only as a mould-breaker. Now in this digital age, Torres’ revolutionary story has been inspirational for new generation of internet stars whose growing niche that went unnoticed in the boardrooms of traditional networks, is finding the foothold. Also with internet pushing Mexican media to be open and inclusive, future ahead only seems to be a starry one for Torres’.
The Meteoric Rise to Stardom
For someone who has been academically trained as a mechanical engineer, venturing into the world of news and entertainment seems an outlandish choice. But Chumel Torres not only did exactly that, but also gained enough prominence to be tagged as the Mexican Jon Stewart of news industry! Torres’ stint with writing started when he put up political tweets on his Twitter handle in the lead up to the 2012 presidential elections. His tweets gained him enough attention to bag him a job of a columnist for a political blog. He followed this up by taking up the post of an editor for an online newspaper in Mexico City. It was while at Mexico City that Torres realized that his passion did not lie in engineering but in developing a comedy news show aimed at urban, middle class, and tech-savvy young people. Torres had long realized the inefficiency of television in bringing out the ‘real’ news. Most of the “news” was fabrication of facts that eventually brought to forefront contents that only protected the image of the powerful. To vent his frustration with mainstream Mexican media, Torres started his satirical YouTube news show, El Pulso de la Republica – the Pulse of the Republic. The show was basically aimed at people who either didn’t watch the news or were sick of watching the news. He used irony and satire to present news. Within a short duration of time, Torres’ show was a huge hit and he became a social media celebrity.
His acts in El Pulso have earned him hundreds of thousands of fans. People across Mexico have turned to him, frustrated with the friendly relationship that mainstream media conglomerates have with the government. Chumel Torres has built a reputation for dodging the censorship that characterizes Mexican television and for presenting news as it is, but with a fun twist. It was for his unique show that a cult following began in Mexico with more and more internet stars following his suit. In 2016, HBO Latin America offered Torres a primetime slot on television, thus giving him the opportunity to make the big leap from internet to cable. His late night comedy news show ‘Chumel con Chumel Torres’ that allowed him to present his own brand of humour, satirizing Mexico and Latin America’s current events and many foibles, was a sweeping success. Running for 22 episodes in its first season, ‘Chumel con Chumel Torres’ met with overwhelming success and became the most watched series on HBO GO. Such has been its reception that the series is slated for a second season in 2017.
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Chumel Torres was born on May 7, 1982 in Mexico. Not much is known about his early life or his parents. It is clear that Torres is well educated from the fact that he has a degree in mechanical engineering. After pursuing this degree, Torres took up a job in the same field before his series of political tweets turned the fate of his life forever. Always a showman at heart, he progressed gradually and finally started his own YouTube news channel which has made him a household name. Nothing is known about Torres’ personal or love life.