On Their Bookshelves


Shaping Media Education for Schools

Linda Johnson spoke with YMR about how the Bay Area-based Streetside Stories brings youth media to schools. For help creating media arts curricula that work in the classroom, Johnson turns to The Teaching for Understanding Guide by Tina Blythe and Associates. It shows educators how to “define what is important for them to teach, and then to teach it so students can understand it,” said Johnson.
Streetside Stories uses the guide to teach teachers how to develop their own media education curricula that meets the educational standards required in California, where Streetside Stories operates.

Making Youth Programs Work

When Phillips Community Television (PCTV) in Minneapolis completed a two-year study of its program impact, executive director John Gwinn documented what his staff discovered for YMR. For further reading on how youth programs work, Gwinn recommends Urban Sanctuaries: Neighborhood Organizations in the Lives and Futures of Inner-City Youth, by Milbrey McLaughlin, Merita Irby, and Juliet Langman. Drawing from a five-year study of six unidentified inner-city youth programs in the Northeast, the Midwest, and the Southeast, the authors examine strategies that visionaries at urban youth organizations use to make their programs thrive, despite significant challenges. “It’s over 10 years old now but still a good read,” wrote Gwinn in an email.

The Case for Youth Media

Youth media practitioners wanting to deepen their work will find inspiration in Fugitive Culture: Race, Violence, and Youth, by Henry A. Giroux, says Mindy Faber, who wrote about media distribution. Not for the faint of heart, this “very academic, very theoretical text takes an unflinching look at how society denies young people their voices,” says Faber, “and how that, in turn, affects the policies determining youth’s lives.” Exploring how the media, in particular, casts, and often criminalizes, young people—especially youth of color—the book indirectly makes a case for why young people must make their own media. Youth media practitioners will finish the book motivated to center their work on helping young people see how they are represented in the media, says Faber, “and how they can to reposition themselves and take control of their own images.”
Ultimately, says Faber, this can change the way the world views, values, and protects generations to come.

Recommended resources from experts recently featured in Youth Media Reporter.