Chicago • Volume 3 • Issue 3

(Left) Ingrid Hu Dahl, editor of YMR & (Right) Tom Bailey, YMR peer review board member/Community Television Network
Letter from the Editor
Welcome to YMR’s Chicago Volume 3: Issue 3, where practitioners in Chicago, IL investigate youth media practice and share their insights to the field. With support from the McCormick Foundation, these practitioners and their colleagues met on April 17 at Columbia College to discuss the most pressing challenges of their work. Twenty two people were in attendance. To see a short snapshot of this meeting, click here.
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.
These articles present an insider’s view of the landscape of the city as well as how youth media can:
• partner with schools;
• eradicate systemic, local and gendered violence;
• use Google My Maps to map the youth media community;
• learn from the Chicago Youth Voices Network;
• develop marketing and advertising sources and clients;
• use journalism to create history and identity for the displaced;
• incorporate family and community resources in program structures and goals; and
• provide “safe passage” for young people.
A warm thanks to all fourteen contributors for their dedication and hard work:
• Margaret Catania (After School Matters)
• Salome Chasnoff and Jesse Wheeler (Beyondmedia Education)
• Mindy Faber (Interactive Arts & Media, Columbia College)
• Mark Hallett (McCormick Foundation) and Sarah Karp (Columbia Links)
• DeAnna McLeary and Na Tae’ Thompson (True Star Magazine)
• Ethan Michaeli (We The People Media, Residents’ Journal)
• Natasha Tarpley (Young Chicago Authors)
• Babylon Williams (proud parent)
• Jeff McCarter (Free Spirit Media) * Vodcast
• Manwah Lee (Street-Level Youth Media) *Podcast
• Tom Bailey (Community TV Network) * Vodcast
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 Mindy Faber from Interactive Media Arts at Columbia, who convened the meeting; and, to Tom Bailey, YMR’s peer review board member based in Chicago, who was instrumental in organizing and leading the cohort. The following is Tom’s introduction to readers of the Chicago issue:
“Five years ago, when I began working with Chicago youth, I had never even heard the term “youth media.” I was a filmmaker with a passion for teaching, and I jumped at the opportunity to combine the two. I did not see myself as a member of a local community of practitioners, let alone a national or international field of professionals.
Recently, thanks in large part to the Youth Voices Network (YVN), I’ve been fortunate enough to develop relationships with many of my Chicago colleagues, resulting in a deep and abiding admiration for their work. YVN, now over a dozen organizations strong, is like an extended family of sorts: we are diverse, geographically dispersed, and at different stages in our organizational lives. And like all families, there are disagreements, differences in philosophy, and generation gaps. We are a work in progress. But we share one common trait: a belief that young people in our city should have a voice. As a reader of YMR, you are a part of this youth media family.
In this issue of YMR you will find perspectives that truly reflect the strengths of the Chicago youth media cohort: our diversity, our dedication, and our D-I-Y work ethic. As an eclectic mix of artists, journalists, entrepreneurs, activists, teachers, and more, we bring a wealth of experience to the field at a time when Chicago youth are most in need. Dropout rates are soaring. Violence among youth dominates the headlines. Schools are being forced to cut arts and journalism programs. Yet the youth media field is as vibrant and strong as ever in Chicago, providing a crucial platform for thoughtful youth expression.”
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