Meet Cam Johnson, one of five students in Radio Rookies Short Wave multimedia workshop. Cam is a student at Facing History High School. For the past eight weeks, he's been hard at work producing a story about the personal cost of bullying.
This animated short is part of a toolkit of DIY videos we’re creating in partnership with the Hive NYC Learning Network. Educators can use this DIY to teach students of all ages to report stories about their own lives.
It was one of the last days of summer before heading back to school and 25 NYC teenagers were clustered around laptops and easel paper, trying to map out their pitches for new tech tools to fight sexual cyber bullying. They were minutes away from presenting their ideas to a panel of judges. 17-year-old Radio Rookie Temitayo Fagbenle scanned the room and called the scene “a bit surreal.”
On July 2, 2013 Radio Rookies teamed up with the organization DreamYard for a Do-it-Yourself (DIY) workshop on how to produce stories through interviews and digital media. The DreamYard kids were an enthusiastic group who were eager to learn how to conduct their own interviews.
“Every time I say something, it doesn’t sound right. It sounds like gibberish, random words put together,” Radio Rookie Aura Briceno narrates in her co-reported story Losing Language, “but I’m trying now, for my grandmother.” While Aura’s Chilean parents spoke to her in English growing up, fellow Rookie Reporter Grisel Isidor spoke Spanish at home, English in school, and now slips easily between the two. Aura and Grisel's story was one of five pieces celebrated at the Radio Rookies listening party and graduation on Tuesday, July 18th at WNYC.
Over a decade ago, I was a Radio Rookie myself. A lot has happened since then -- high school, college, and various jobs -- but I recently found myself drawn back to radio as an intern. Throughout the last few months, I have had the opportunity to help lead the Short Wave multimedia workshop, an after school program held in two high schools in lower Manhattan.
After several sessions of brainstorming ideas for story topics, the current cohort of Neighborhood to Neighborhood Radio Rookies have settled into their groups based on their topic preferences and interests. The student reporters are now delving into one of the most important stages of the process -- conducting interviews.
Many teenagers see derogatory, sexual references like slut, whore and ho made by and about our peers on a near-daily basis in our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. But how do we react? Do we laugh it off and comment, like the majority of the populace? Or do we stick up for our buddies, risking our own image and likability? Until last week, my answer was the first of the two: I embraced complacency.
According to a group of New York City teenagers, sexually explicit content involving their classmates is a regular occurrence in their social media lives and mostly, they said, they ignored it and kept on scrolling. But they acknowledged that they could do more to limit the bullying and “slut shaming” they see.
We decided to check in with Rookie Graduates in different communities to ask them how they feel about guns. They rated how easy it is to get a gun in their neighborhood on a scale of 1 to 10 [1 being very easy, 10 being very hard].
"I am a life-long resident of Bushwick, Brooklyn - a beautiful community besieged by gun violence" - Jesus Gonzalez.
*Mr. Gonzalez will be live chatting about gun control and school safety with Radio Rookies and Youth Radio from 1-2pm.
On Sunday, January 20th, President Obama was officially sworn in to his second term as president, but yesterday he shared his moment with the public at the inauguration ceremony. There were many great moments of the entire day, but Obama’s speech is what most people were waiting for (that and Beyonce’s singing of course)!
By giving New York City teenagers the tools to tell stories specific to their realities for over a decade, it is no surprise that Radio Rookies’ stories reflect how some teen issues have evolved over the years. This is especially true when it comes to the thin line between gossiping and bullying. Going through the Rookies archive, one can hear how the emergence of the internet and social media has amplified this issue.
Radio Rookies hosted an in-class live chat to coincide with a new story about sexual cyberbullying. Rookie Reporter Temitayo Fagbenle hosted a facilitated online conversation for high school students to discuss the issues her story brings to light.
In November, Radio Rookies took part in the Mozilla Festival -- in London! The festival is all about teaching everyone to be a webmaker. Presenters come to show off their own hard work but are also there to teach young people and educators their skills. People have the chance to actually use the tools they learn to make things there at Moz Fest.