Contact us at the following address:
What are the advances in youth media? What are the challenges facing youth media organizations? Where is the field headed?
Hear what’s on the minds of current and up-and-coming leaders in the field and what they’re planning next.
Get the “story behind the story” and thoughtful accounts of what works and what doesn’t in youth media through first person essays, opinionated reviews, and diary-like dispatches from the field.
Tips and techniques for youth media professionals.
Developments in youth media at a glance.
Summaries relevant to youth media from the news: 2005 to present. Note: not all links within In-Briefs remain live.
All About the Media
Media reform, public media, and youth in the media, for better and worse
Working With Young People
Resources and reflections on youth work, youth development, and teaching
Building the Youth Media Field and Organizations
Fund-raising, professional development, and big-picture thinking about youth media
Getting Seen and Heard
Marketing and Distributing Youth Media
Making a Difference
Youth Media as Activism
First Amendment Issues
Rejection builds character.
Maybe I tell myself that because I’ve danced with rejection. My character could touch the sky.
I spent this past summer interning with the youth media nonprofit Children’s PressLine, in New York City. A group of our young reporters and editors were gearing up for the Republican and Democratic national conventions, where they would churn out stories from the hub of the action.
I was in charge of securing various food and material contributions to keep costs down during both convention weeks.
While I knew that nonprofits survive on donations, as a journalism major at Hollins University I also knew that journalists should not accept donations if it compromises journalistic integrity. So before accepting the internship, I asked my supervisor, “How much influence do your donors have on the topics and stories that you cover?”
“None,” she said.
So I took the job. Two months seemed like more than enough time to get everything ready for the conventions. Here’s how I pictured my summer internship: I would make lots of calls, lay on the charm, explain my goal to get free stuff for the kids, and a voice on the other end would proclaim “Yes, of course!” After work, I would shop and soak up music in Central Park. Life really would be a bowl of cherries!
Or so I thought.
When I finally jumped into cold calling what seemed like every food business in Manhattan, I learned that getting donations was far from easy.
Some days were worse than others, not only because of repeated "no’s," but also because of the hang-ups.
You try arguing with the angry buzz of a disconnected telephone call!
Or, after pleading with a pizzeria for what seemed like hours, they sent a single “One Free Large Thin Crust Pizza” coupon in the mail. Did they expect us to divide the pie into 30 scraps and tell the kids, “Just chew slowly?”
Didn’t they understand I was trying to feed an army of growing kids?!
Yet, food was probably the easiest to get. More so than discounted train tickets, computer supplies, cameras, T-shirts, or 30 Boston Duck Tours! Companies kept feeding me poor excuses in a “call someone who cares” tone.
In silent retribution, I compiled a hit list of cold, greedy corporations who couldn’t spare their time, energy, or food—crumbs, really, in the scheme of things—for our small yet notable organization. I vowed to deprive them of my business, as if I were saving society from corporate hunger.
At one point I even considered pitching pride and decency out the 15th-floor office window by teetering to a particular car rental company in heels, a mini-skirt, and low-cut blouse to ask the owner once more if he was certain that he wouldn’t cut us a deal.
He was. But, don’t worry, I called instead.
July arrived, and I began to get the hang of things. Or really, I just got better at it. The more comfortable I got asking for donations and talking about CPL’s mission, the more donations I received. People responded best when I remembered their name, didn’t ramble, and managed not to sound nervous.
By the end of the summer, I had even adopted a gutsy tone, and I rehearsed my pitch before calling. The donations were not exactly rolling in, but these things take time. In the end, I snagged some pretty cool bling (for those of you who don’t know, “bling” means goods.) I got free cell phones and minutes for both conventions, and lots of free food.
So, I’ll share my secrets with you. My logical but hard-earned approach to getting donations in a city you’re not in:
Be a fearless caller. Just like in high school, there are no stupid questionsor wrong companies to call. The best place to start is the Yellow Pages or city guide on the web.
Ask for someone in charge or in public relations. Typically, they are the ones who make these decisions or can direct you to someone else who can. If it’s a worker, keep in mind that they are busy, and cut to the chase.
State your organization’s mission. Why should anyone care about you? Be clear about what you want, why you need it, when you want it by, and how much you want.
Be perceptive and receptive to your audience. Know their values. Is the business small or large? I found family-oriented places the most willing to donate. When I called “mom-and-pop” places, I made it clear that the kids were my top priority, not the food. The kids literally depended upon me for sustenance during both conventions. They were the backbone of the project and deserved the most valiant effort I could give, and people responded to that.
Leave messages and try, try again. If you don’t catch someone the first time, usually, they are curious and will call back. But if someone says they will get back to you, don’t hold your breath. Call back and ask for someone else. Give a pseudo-name the next time. It’s just like going to dad after mom says “no.” We all did it, and a lot of times it worked. And never leave a "maybe" hanging.
Keep a written record of who you talk to, when you talked to them, their position, and their response. It is embarrassing and unprofessional to forget someone’s name or a previous conversation with them.
Pay attention to ads or articles concerning groups that could help you. In my case, the cell phone company that donated phones and minutes targeted a hip, young, urban crowd in their ads, very similar to our kids.
Use your PR skills. If you want something, let them know what you can offer in return. Allow them to share their ideas with you as well. Most companies, I learned, were willing to invest in us if they understood our mission and if we could give some publicity in return. We offered press releases, photo-ops with our kids, or their company name or logo on our T-shirts and banners. A cell phone company requested a focus group with the kids regarding their cell phone experience after both conventions. So that was definitely a win-win situation.
Make things convenient for them. I always offered specific days and times that we would pick up their donation to minimize hesitations over details. After all, donors are giving you their services or products for free, so you want to make it easy for them.
Persuade them that if they say “no” they will miss out on one of the best opportunities of the year. Peer pressure can be a powerful tool of persuasion. When I was trying to persuade someone who sounded hesitant, I mentioned others who had already jumped on the bandwagon, eager about the distinguished guests that would either see or talk with our young reporters at both conventions. Does George W. Bush or Hilary Rodham Clinton ring a bell?
Learn to love rejection. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?
In the face of rejection, I say, “Bring it on!”
Rebecca Staed is a junior communication studies major at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. She worked as an intern at Children’s PressLine last summer. She is available for media internships—preferably paid ones, as she is a very poor college student, living on instant oatmeal and Easy Mac.
Last fall, as newspapers across the country reported the same stories about
Kerry’s war record and Bush’s tough stance on terrorists, election dispatches from young reporters provided a respite from the usual campaign rhetoric. Berkeley-based Youth Radio sent its reporters to Boston and New York to cover the Democratic and Republican conventions. Spots aired on National Public Radio’s
Morning Edition, All Things Considered, the Tavis Smiley Show, and Latino USA.
Kurwa, Youth Radio’s news director and editor of the international desk,
talked with Youth Media Reporter about how she pitched her stories to national
outlets, and what a youth perspective added to mainstream election coverage.
Q: Why did Youth Radio choose to cover the conventions, and why cover them for outlets with largely adult audiences?
By going to the conventions, we were trying to do there what we do here on
a daily basis, which is cover the story of young people. With the young Democrats
and young Republicans and young protesters going to conventions, we thought
it was important to highlight the fact that there were young people involved
in the convention. What was really important about the young delegates’ perspective
was that they were really focused on the issues important to youth and their
peers, and they were highlighting those issues for the older folks there.
But from what I saw in the mainstream press, young delegates were sort of
being covered as sidebar stories.
Q: At the Republican National Convention, you had to turn around stories
on a very tight deadline. How did you prepare for it?
A: Our planning
started months before. We had the kids listen to stuff Youth Radio had done
from the last convention to get a sense of what we were able to get last
time and the format it was in. And we had young people in the newsroom on
convention watch. All our interns—not just the ones going to
the convention—were reading up on convention stories, looking up young
delegates, identifying the stories that weren’t
necessarily being covered that had to do with young people.
Teen and adult
staff were talking to a lot of delegates in advance to find out which ones
had interesting stories and were great characters. We had pre-interviews with
some of the characters we covered. We also sent adult producers early to Boston
and New York, and they scouted stories and locations so they could tell us, “This
is how long it is going to take us to walk from here to here.”
The New York Times had
done a story on conservative punks for Bush and that’s how we heard about
a conservative punk in New York who we eventually did a story about. A lot
of people thought he was an oxymoron.
We also knew it was important to cover
the stories of the RNC protests, and to get the man-on-the-street sound of
protesters. And a lot of our stories were also connected to our young people’s own experience at the conventions. DeSean Robinson-Walker wrote a show for Tavis Smiley about being a young African-American Republican. Elena Alvarez’s
commentary for Latino USA was her reflection on her interactions with protesters.
the kinds of stories young people would be telling was part of the planning
process. We had to determine who would be able to tell the stories well,
who would be able to reflect on something in their life. And we needed students
who could hunker down and be really nimble in terms of changing plans and
meeting hard deadlines.
Q: How did you go about getting assignments from major media outlets like National Public Radio?
A: It helped us that we already had relationships with editors at various
media outlets. There are people within NPR and other outlets who see that the
youth voice is really important, that youth can sometimes tell a story in a
much more powerful way and can sometimes actually take a deeper look at youth
issues than an adult reporter can.
And for the convention, a lot of coverage
has to be analysis and punditry. We’re really able to bring something
that takes more risks and that really adds to the sound of the coverage and
makes it more young, more fresh, quirky, funny, and also meaningful in terms
of communicating what young people involved in politics are thinking about.
people can ask the questions that elicit responses that provide more of a
window into the why and how of a story. Like with the conservative punk piece,
the student reporter came into it with his own take on punk culture and was
able to bring this witty, astute sense to the writing that helped bring along
NPR had one person running all the election coverage and she had
worked with us in the past. She has a sense of the kind of stories we do
and we pitched her the ideas we had over the phone and listened to what she
wanted to get from us.
We said, “These are the students coming along with us and we’ll send you a script when they have something.” For Elena’s story, for instance, we just said, “Here
we have this great perspective of this young woman born in the U.S. who grew
up in Tijuana.”
For Elena, going to the convention was her first flight
out of Mexico and it was her first time in New York City.
Same thing for the
Tavis Smiley show. We talked about who DeSean was, how he was a young African-American
Republican who had never been around a large group of Republicans before.
is a value to having the fresh and diverse perspectives of young reporters
who come from all over the country and from all different classes and backgrounds.
Sometimes the coverage of these events can seem really monolithic in who
is being represented, and our students brought their own perspective.
When you’re working for a national media outlet on a tight deadline,
is there a danger that the teens lose some opportunities for learning?
At the conventions, the process of each story was a sped-up version of our
editorial process at home. Our working model is highly collaborative between
adult and youth. When you get to the national level it’s even more collaborative, and at the conventions we were definitely working together to make our deadlines, whereas here at home we might have more time to say to the youth, “Write as much as you can and I’ll do an edit and you can get back to it,” and
But I think the thing that gets lost for sure in the bigger outlets,
is what happens in terms of editorial control. We try to maintain as much
as we can—and in working with national outlets for years we’re
at the point now where if the media outlet makes changes to a story they
are good at telling us so we can go back to the students and tell them before
the change is made. But still, you definitely do lose some editorial control
once you get to that level of production.
And depending on the kinds of stories you’re doing, if you’re always chasing stories that are highly investigative or very tied to what’s happening in the news and require a quick turnaround, you can end up relying on one or two or three really talented writers and reporters. Really trying to draw out a student’s personal perspective is one way to avoid that star reporter syndrome.
But in the end, no matter who goes to the convention it’s a really big deal for our young people to go there and see such a huge, historical, political media event and to feel like they were part of the media junket at large, and also to see how youth media covers the convention differently from the mainstream press.
Last fall, Children’s PressLine sent its young reporters to Boston and New York for the Democratic and Republican conventions. Children’s PressLine election coverage appeared in The Daily News, The Boston Globe, Alternet.org, and Connect for Kids.
Katina Paron, Children’s PressLine’s editorial and program director, talked with Youth Media Reporter about how she pitched stories to national outlets, and what a youth perspective added to mainstream election coverage.
Q: Why did Children’s PressLine choose to send reporters to the convention?
A: Children’s PressLine—it used to be Children’s Express—has covered every major political convention since 1976. We train our kids so that they are journalists, reporters, and editors, but we always try to get them to think of themselves as advocates for their peers first.
We let them know that they are part of the media, and since the media is such a powerful tool, it’s their obligation as young people and as journalists to talk to their peers in need and ask politicians how they will be responsible to those young people.
We’ve done hundreds of interviews with young people facing really intense issues, and we can’t pass up the opportunity to say to politicians, “You are accountable to these young people.” The conventions were a concentrated time to bring those voices of the young people we talk to directly to the politicians.
Q: How did you pitch The Daily News?
A: We started a conversation with The Daily News in April or May. We had done a convention supplement with them in 1992, and I said, “Remember us in 1992? Can we cover this convention for you too?”
But when I first called, I couldn’t get an answer. They didn’t know what they’d be interested in by us, but the newspaper’s education editor did pitch the idea to the executive editor. He said OK to her, which opened the path for me to call him directly and get a verbal affirmation from him.
But I didn’t hear back, even after leaving several messages with him. So I called his secretary and said that the editor had already accepted the idea and I just needed to know who I should talk to since I can’t get hold of him. I was persistent. I said, “We already got an OK on this, I just need a confirmation of the OK.”
They sent me to another lead editor, and he really liked the idea of having a kid’s perspective on the convention. It’s so hard to get news at the convention and kids’ perspectives on the convention is news made interesting.
After we got confirmation, I said to the executive editor, “You agreed to run our stuff deadline. What do you want us to run?” I didn’t know they’d want it to be daily. But we ended up running a daily reporter’s notebook on the convention from a kids’ perspective and it got picked up by Alternet.org.
It was a little snarky and smart-alecky. When one kid asked a delegate at the RNC, “What’s the job of a delegate?” he said, “Just as long as we don’t pick our noses when the camera is on us.”
Another 13-year-old went to an event and they tried to serve him alcohol. That’s interesting for the general public to be reading that, to hear from a kid’s point of view that this is politics today, this is what these kids are seeing. It gives readers a sense that there is no news at the conventions, that this is a series of parties. To put these young people who aren’t jaded in a room with all these politicians and delegates and to have a young person tell it like it is, it gave readers an unusual perspective on the convention.
Q: While many youth media organizations work with teens, Children’s PressLine works with kids who range from ages 8–18. How do the politicians react to being interviewed by such young people?
A: The politicians have always been respectful to the young people because they’re young and cute, and because they’re young and have something to say, and because they’re trained journalists and have press credentials. When the kids see a politician they run up to them and say, “Do you have time for kids’ issues?” If they say, “I don’t have time for kids’ issues,” and walk away, it looks really bad.
And when you see kids ages 818 who are briefed on the issues approach politicians with intelligent questions, it reminds politicians that kids are their constituents, and even if kids can’t vote, they have to work on their behalf.
Minnesota-based Phillips Community TV raised money specifically for Battleground Minnesota, a teen-made documentary on the elections. “We did a whole separate fundraising campaign for this video,” said program director John Gwinn. First, they produced a trailer,
then researched organizations that might be interested in helping to fund a
full-length feature. One staff member at Phillips Community TV used
to work for an online philanthropy project and, through that, had the idea
that the locally based Target and Best
be interested in funding the show through their government affairs divisions.
After watching the trailer, Target gave $10,000 and Best Buy gave $5,000. They
also helped Phillips organize a house party “mostly
with young, wealthy liberals,” said Gwinn. It raised about $7,500 more.
alternative news source that hosts the youth-written Wiretap, got special funding
to cover the elections from the Wallace
Global Fund, the Schumann
Center for Media and Democracy,
the Albert A. List Foundation,
and the Open Society Institute.
A look at the funding strategies of youth media organizations that covered the 2004 election.
Alternet made the organizational decision to have Wiretap focus
on the youth vote angle. But none of their funding was specifically earmarked
for Wiretap funding, says editor Twilight Greenaway.
Andrew Lynne, educational facilitator at Manhattan
Youth Channel, said that the organization did not raise money for
its coverage of the elections. Even so, he says, Youth Channel thought
it was important to cover the elections because its “staff members
felt a certain responsibility to provide a community media outlet as opposed
to a corporate media outlet on the election, and so we all took it on ourselves.”
In the past, New Yorkbased Youth Communication received
funding from the New York Community
the New York Foundation, and the Valentine
Perry Snyder Fund of JP Morgan during election years to produce
special issues of the teen-written New
Youth Connections on voting and political participation. They did not
apply for funding for their special 2004 election issue, says executive
director Keith Hefner, because he felt that year more foundations were
interested in direct “get out the vote” efforts than what Hefner calls “pre-registration
education.” “We’re trying to lay the groundwork so that when
someone approaches a kid on the street and says, ‘Are you registered
to vote?’, the kid will want to register because they understand why
it would make a difference.”
Three youth-reported news services—Children’s
New York, Y-Press in Indianapolis, and 8-18
Markette, Michiganpartnered to secure funding to exchange youth among the
organizations covering the conventions. Each bureau received $5,000 in total from
the Open Society Institute and the Arsalyn
Foundation, which is part of the Ludwick Family Foundation. Children’s PressLine Program Director Katina Paron believes they received
the funding not only because of the civic engagement angle; foundations “love partnerships because it saves on resources for
them.” She adds, foundations “really love peer exchanges
and this was kind of an extreme peer exchange.”
RSS, or “Really Simple Syndication” (among other names), allows online content, such as the Youth Media Reporter’s news headlines, to be easily distributed. Through the use of an “RSS news reader” desktop application or web-based “RSS aggregator,” content from multiple sources can be viewed in one place.
Youth Media Reporter offers a free RSS feed that includes headlines, summaries, and links to Youth Media Reporter‘s website. To subscribe, click the orange “XML” button below.
|Youth Media Reporter Headlines
Accessing RSS Feeds
To read the Youth Media Reporter Headlines RSS feed, you usually must either install RSS reader software or have access to a website that acts as an RSS aggregator. Web-based aggregators are relatively easy to set up and allow feeds to be read at any networked computer, PDA, or Web-enabled phone. Bloglines and the RSS module of MyYahoo! are two free providers.
RSS reader software, such as Pluck, SharpReader (both free Windows applications) and NetNewsWire (Mac), is more customizable and often includes the ability to alert you to new headlines or content.
Some web browsers, such as Opera, have an RSS reader built in. Others, such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, require extensions to add RSS features.
How to get published in Youth Media Reporter
Vodcasts / Podcasts
Youth Media Reporter is interested in short audio and video recordings of educators/practitioners discussing their work, pedagogical approaches, and discussions amongst other educators or young media makers. We are interested in the ways that educators dialogue with one another and share best practices using media. Topics should relate to the youth media field and youth media as a practice and profession.
Submit mp3 files, MOV and YouTube links to email@example.com. Video and audio submissions will be considered for publication depending on the validity of the material and its pertinence to the subject featured in the Youth Media Reporter edition. Selected submissions will undergo a peer “media” review process that will offer feedback, which may include requests for additional editing.
For Print Articles
There are 3 easy steps to submit an article to YMR.
First: Complete an article template after reading what we are looking for (below)
Second: Make sure your article is within 1,000-2,000 words, includes practitioner and/or youth quotes, and research and/or web links to back up your arguement.
Third: Be prepared for a thorough editorial review process, which may require 2-3 rounds of drafts. Though extensive, the result is having a high quality article that documents a trend, perspective and/or pedagogy in the youth media field.
Sorry, YMR currently does not pay its writers. As a resource that serves practitioners in youth media, your article helps to document, expand, and build the field.
Youth Media Reporter Article Template
Target word count: 1,000–2,000
Template Deadline: 1st of the month, two months before publication date
Article Deadline: 15th of the month, two months before publication date
Submit to: Ingrid Dahl, firstname.lastname@example.org
Length: one to two sentences
Present your argument in one to two sentences. Include the five Ws: who, what, where, when, why. Remember to make clear why this is immediate and important to professionals in the youth media field.
Length: three to five paragraphs
Support your argument with evidence ranging from logical explanations, background information, details about an event or concern, quotes from interviews or other articles, or documented research.
Length: two to three paragraphs
Tie the evidence back in with your argument about youth media, intensifying the issue. How does this relate to YMR readers? Provide details.
Length: two to three paragraphs
Reiterate your argument and leave readers with information/insights that are useful.
Once your template is approved, any major changes to it must be discussed with us.
• Research based articles, case studies and op-ed journalistic articles that share leading practices—what works and what doesn’t
• Accounts of youth media participants, leaders, and/or mentors who are working toward social change. Think diverse voices across programs throughout the U.S. and around the globe.
• Practical tools and information, such as tips, techniques, how-tos, research briefs, and lessons learned that can support youth media programs and educators.
• Reviews of books, new media literacy and/or technology, or conferences/convenings/festivals relevant to youth media.
• Discussion of current and upcoming trends, and ideas from the youth media field.
This is the perfect opportunity to develop your opinion about an issue relevant to youth media and to voice it to others in the field. Unless this is for a research-specific issue, your article will only include some research to back up your opinion if you wish. You are presenting an argument or point of view. Think Op-Ed and/or scholary research.
Your article for YMR is not a place to simply describe your organization, its mission, or its accomplishments.
Youth Media Reporter Style Guidelines
YMR follows the New York Times Op-Ed style and basic journalism style (unless you have been invited to write for a special research-based/academic issue). Please take a moment to review these details before you write in order to save us both time.
YMR articles must ensure that readers see your overall perspective and absorb your argument right away, are convinced by your article’s body of supporting information, and reach the same conclusion as you while placing that point in the larger frame of society.
• Be concise. Like you, YMR readers are pressed for time. Use active verbs and language efficiency to convey the most meaning with the fewest words.
• Be direct. Eliminate vague language and say what you mean.
• Stay focused. Cover one main subject, and use supporting details. A subject that is too large cannot be covered satisfactorily in an article-length piece. Reiterate your argument with fresh words throughout the piece to keep readers focused too.
• Write to YMR readers. They are intelligent, but they may not have the same knowledge base as you about your topic. Explain enough to fill them in by including relevant dates, descriptions of organizations or events, identifiers of people, and other necessary details.
• Stay true to yourself. You are an expert, and we want to feature you and your opinion, not a comprehensive analysis of others’ opinions or research.
Please also follow basic journalism ethics:
• If you use quotes, whether from interviews or other sources, make sure they’re exact.
• Provide source information to your editor.
• Double-check spelling of people’s and organizations’ names.
• Avoid bias. Op-ed pieces are meant to be opinion, but back your opinion up.
• Never plagiarize.
• Avoid stereotyping.
• Support the open exchange of views.
Help your editor to save time by following YMR’s grammatical style:
• Use a comma before the last item in a series.
• Do not place spaces around em dashes.
• Italicize names of books, newspapers, journals, films, etc. Place quotation marks around article titles.
• Use numerals for numbers 10 and above. Spell out one through nine.
• Write out the name of an organization on first reference and place its acronym in parentheses behind the first reference. Use the acronym thereafter.
• Feel free to use subheads and bullets to categorize and streamline your article.
As we embark on this journey to disseminate your views, please keep the following details in mind:
• Your piece should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words long. These are suggestions, not strict guidelines, but please do not stray too much.
• Your piece will be edited by youth media and publication professionals. You agree to cooperate with our editors to produce the best article possible.
• Deadlines are crucial. If you miss a deadline, your piece may not be published, and you could jeopardize the publication of the entire YMR issue. Your rough draft is due on the 15th of the month two months before your scheduled publication.
• Two to three rounds of edits and revisions are standard. Edits are returned to you within a week of your submission, and revisions are due within ten days, unless otherwise specified.
• Your article should reflect YMR’s mission: YMR’s purpose is to build the youth media field by documenting, from multiple perspectives, the work produced by and for young people in video, film, television, radio, music, web, art, and print. YMR offers insight to the degree young people and their adult allies use media to make a difference, address a point, enhance creative imagination, and match leadership with voice.
By submitting a piece to YMR for publication, you are agreeing that the piece is original and you have not plagiarized any part of it. You also understand that we do not guarantee publication of submitted articles. Once your article is accepted for publication, you are expected to sign a contract to that effect.
As November 2, 2004, approached, the mainstream media reported that the youth vote might swing the elections. Teens at youth media organizations devoted considerable energy to helping lure their peers to the polls and informing them about the issues at hand.
In Minnesota, two of Phillips Community Television’s Youth Media hip-hop artists—Chris “Shakademic” Johnson, 18, and Glenn Scott, 19—collaborated with adult producers to create a political documentary that got teens talking about the election. In it, Shakademic teaches the real Walter Mondale how to scratch a record with headphones pressed against an ear. According to The Star Tribune, when the thirty-minute documentary made its debut on Twin Cities Public Television Channel 2, it scored the second highest ratings of any show that night. Johnson and Scott also distributed copies of the show to local high schools. New Youth Connections (published by Youth Communication), the magazine written by New York City teens and distributed to approximately 60,000 students in the city’s public high schools ran a special pre-election issue featuring an interview with a young soldier in Iraq who was beginning to question the war, as well as interviews with teen GOP protesters and young Republicans. In that issue teens also ruminated on whether inmates and 16-year-olds should be allowed to vote, and why a woman has never been nominated for president.
The cable-access Manhattan Neighborhood Network’s Youth Channel broadcast a spirited panel of teen activists debating issues like whether the Republican convention should have been held in New York, what would happen if there was a draft, and how the government should respond to AIDS abroad.
Even Newsweek partook in youth-made media, running a regular section about young people’s perspectives on the elections presented not through the usual lens of an adult reporter, but written directly by young people.
We are very excited to launch Youth Media Reporter, a web journal sponsored by the Open Society Institute’s Youth Initiatives program. Designed as a forum for stakeholders in the youth media field, Youth Media Reporter will discuss emerging ideas, trends, and practices, and will deepen and extend knowledge about the developing field. We are pleased to announce that Kendra Hurley, an accomplished journalist and veteran youth media professional, is the editor of Youth Media Reporter. Kendra is also a managing editor at Youth Communication, where she served as editor of Represent, a magazine for and by youth in the foster care system, from 1998 to 2004. She has written for publications including USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, City Limits, and Child Welfare Watch. She earned an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University.
Youth Media Reporter aims to be a dynamic publication that reflects the richness and diversity within the youth media field. This growing community of programs represents a landscape in which young people are participating in a process of collaborative inquiry, communication, production, and distribution, thereby providing audiences with compelling and unique perspectives about their experiences, their hopes, and their communities. While programming approaches and methodologies vary among organizations, there remains a commitment to involving the most hard-to-reach and isolated youth. Practitioners, scholars, and researchers are increasingly interested in learning more about program practices, the range of themes discussed in the media, the means of media distribution, and the media’s impact on audiences.
We hope that you find the articles/discussions vital and informative. We look forward to hearing from you as you contribute your ideas and suggestions for future articles and topics.
Director, Youth Initiatives
Open Society Institute
Program Officer, Youth Initiatives
Open Society Institute