Twin Cities • Volume 3 • Issue 4

Letter from the Editor
Welcome to YMR’s Twin Cities Volume 3: Issue 4, where practitioners in the Twin Cities investigate youth media practice and share their insights to the field. With support from the McCormick Foundation, these practitioners and their colleagues met on June 17 at St. Thomas University to discuss the most pressing challenges of their work.
Following this meeting, contributors wrote and revised drafts that were reviewed by a local peer, a member of YMR’s national peer review board, and AED/YMR staff, as a means to engage a youth media rich and yet underrepresented region to the field.
The topics covered in this issue include:
• Supporting young people to responsibly engage with Web 2.0 tools within our programs;
• Supporting young girls to critique media, avoid stereotypes, and act out new identities;
• Reflecting on the Twin Cities Youth Media Network: a model of local, regional youth media network;
• Learning from the tools and practices of journalism to engage young people in story-telling and local political change;
• Learning from artists and media art educators that apply a creative, inventive, and experimental aspect to teen media makers;
• Seeing how the Youth Video Exchange Network functions as a pipeline for the field to increase our efforts and those of the young people we serve.;
• Viewing successful partnerships between high schools, universities, and youth media educators that encourage Somali youth in the Twin Cities—who have been marginalized by news media—to create better news and media vehicles that accurately represent their perspectives and local communities; and
• Supporting the long-term development of girls.
A warm thanks to all thirteen contributors for their dedication and hard work:
• Anthony Brunner, Peter Kirschmann, Mary Pumphrey and Oanh Vu (Americorps members in St. Paul)
• Rebecca Richards Bullen (TVbyGIRLS)
• Joanna Kohler (TCYMN, Kohler Productions)
• Lynda McDonnell (ThreeSixty Journalism)
• Nancy Norwood (Perpich Arts High School)
• Nicola Pine (Saint Paul Neighborhood Network)
• Catherine Squires & Maureen Schriner (University of Minnesota)
• Barbara Wiener (TVbyGIRLS)
• John Gwinn (Mitzgi Institute/Phillips Community TV) * Vodcast (forthcoming)
A special thanks to Kelly Nuxoll, YMR’s writing coach for her stellar coaching and edits as well as to YMR’s Peer Review board for giving helpful feedback to each writer.
Many thanks to Lynda McDonnell, YMR’s peer review board member based in St. Paul at ThreeSixty Journalsim, who was instrumental in organizing and leading the cohort. She explains:
“As financial pressures on the non-profit sector build, local youth media organizations need to find ways to collaborate, share resources and learn. The Twin Cities has a vibrant media, arts and education scene. In Joanna Kohler’s accompanying article in this issue, the Twin Cities Youth Media Network is an example of how practitioners in the local youth media community work to support one another.
Most of the contributors to this issue of YMR are part of TCYMN–professionals from varying backgrounds in the arts, filmmaking, education, cable television, and academia. The accompanying articles in YMR represent how Twin Cities youth media educators operate, our challenges and success stories, and our shared commitment to giving young people skills, power and voice.”
We welcome you to join the conversation for each of these articles using YMR’s “comment” feature. You can also send feedback or comments directly to If you are interested in posting a pod or vodcast response, please contact YMR’s media crew or email
To reserve your copy of YMR’s annual print journal (Volume 3), you can subsrcibe and purchase via credit card or by check.
Ingrid Hu Dahl, Editor, YMR

Youth Media Reporter is managed by the Academy for Educational Development