Youth as Media Makers
Showing communities how to move forward and transforming the behavior of youth and adults, engaging youth as media makers can lead to social change in a lot of ways. Youth can become change agents through television, zines, radio, social media, magazines, podcasts, and newspapers, together with the people and organizations involved in their production.
The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses. — Malcolm X
Ways Youth can Change the World by Making Media
Youth Created Newspapers — Young people can create newspapers in print or online that report the facts, share the editorials and generate conversations young people and adults need to hear. Using their voices can lead to engaging reporting, progressive opinions and meaningful dialogues throughout communities.
Youth as Reporters — Identifying what news matters to them and their communities, youth as reporters can share unique perspectives, get unique angles and drive powerful stories. Reporting on the stories that matter to them can reflect youth voice in substantial, meaningful ways that nobody else can.
Youth Websites — Youth making websites to reflect their knowledge, opinions, ideas, wisdom and actions can provide powerful, meaningful and creative outlets for youth voice. Building regular websites that share dynamic, engaging content can allow young people to build communities in ways few other media can.
Things Youth Need to Change the World through Media Making
Internet — The internet is a media tool that can be used for research, storytelling, production, community building and many other purposes that are important for media making. That makes providing youth with unfettered access to the Internet is an essential avenue for fostering youth engagement with media making.
Education — Learning the skills and knowledge necessary to be responsible media makers and critical media consumers is essential for all youth, everywhere. Being able to choose whether or not to consume and produce media is a choice all people should have in democracies, youth too.
Small Batch Printing — Being able to produce youth-created newspapers, zines, posters and other print materials can transform youth and generate interest in youth voice. It can also create broad support for young people
- Youth Radio – A media production company training diverse young people in digital media and technology by partnering with industry professionals. Students learn to produce marketable media for massive audiences while bringing youth perspectives to issues of public concern.
- Adobe Youth Voices – Ignites young people’s ability to harness creative skills to solve problems to empower them to find their voice and make it heard.
- Youth Media Reporter (YMR) – An open access, peer-reviewed professional journal for scholars, practitioners and others who develop, organize, teach, study and support youth media practices and programs. YMR includes research articles, descriptive case studies, brief reports from the field, and reviews of scholarship, technologies, conferences and other events related to the practices, pedagogies, and analysis of youth media.
Other tools are out there, too – share your thoughts in the comments below! For more information about how The Freechild Project can support youth engagement in media making in your community or organization, contact us.