Erin Reeg, Radio Rookies Intern
Erin Reeg is a graduate of the Radio Rookies program, who is now interning with the program.
At the 3rd Annual NYC Digital Waves Youth Media Festival: NewsHive @ St. Joseph's College youth came together to produce, report, and make their own stories in just 10 hours.
This year's festival kicked off October 18-19th. Teens reported on issues related to the 2013 NYC mayoral campaign, professional media mentors and participants shared skills and collaborated in our popup newsroom style event.
The entire event was centered around asking the question: "What would happen if we gave youth the resources, space and a tight deadline to tell stories that affect their lives and communities?" With the ultimate goal being to promote youth voice and empowerment, creativity, connectivity and knowledge building through an experiential and immersive process. The festival finished off with a Multimedia Slam Throwdown hosted by Blunt Youth Radio from Portland, Maine where teams compete for the best stories. The format for the competition took place with an adrenaline filled live judging rounds. The first place went to "Teen Parents Speak," created by youth media makers Leo Hilton (Blunt Youth Radio, Portland High School), Yaqian Liu (The Academy at Urban Arts Partnership, Baruch College), Jocelyn Rivera (Red Hook Initiative) and Jairo Gomez (Radio Rookies, West Brooklyn High School), and mentored by Cassie Wagler. Each team member of the winning team received $100. The second place award of $75 each went to "Bodegas to Starbucks." The third place award of $50 each went to "Bloomberg Teen Pregnancy Campaign." And the Audience Choice Award of $25 each went to "Sexual Education Reform."
Check out the winning stories below! We congratulate them for all their hard work and accomplishing their pieces in such a short amount of time!
FRIDAY night was all about introductions, inspiration and brainstorming. Each of the nine teams were comprised of 2-4 youth media makers led by a "media mentor," someone in the field who could teach and lead. The participants and mentors were introduced to some people doing inspiring work in media at the moment, such as Professor Ted Hamm, Chair of St. Joseph's College Department of Journalism and New Media Studies, who spoke with the crowd about the importance of pursuing a career in Journalism. Leah Gilliam of Mozilla's Hive Learning Network NYC, told the audience about the power journalism holds to represent the voice of the community and how it can create positive change. She shared a story about her mother who was the first black woman journalist at the Washington Post and the challenges she faced.
"Important, first of all, get the story, no matter what kind of obstacles they are, think about my mom with her typewriter. You have a lot of things that are a lot easier and more a lot accessible to you right now, but your basic job is the same, listen hard, get the story, get to the bottom of things and the very end think about this idea of the web and sharing what you are learning and sharing what you are thinking about.
One of the big important steps for you after you create your stories is to be able to share your stories, so other people can have a chance to listen, to see and interpret them."
The message was clear, the media makers were at NewsHive@St.Joseph's to participate in an unique opportunity to influence how youth issues are considered before the city's mayoral election. After these thoughtful introductions the participants were shown videos produced by teenagers from PressPass TV (Boston), Reel Works (Brooklyn), and Radio Rookies (NYC) to celebrate and encourage youth voice.
Then they all got to meet an inspiring and innovative 12-year-old "Michael Moore" Zachary Maxwell, who spoke and answered questions about making his documentary that exposes the truth about school lunch, "Yuck: A 4th Graders Documentary About School Lunch."
If this school lunch didn't get the participants hungry, the event dinner menu certainly did. Dinner was served with delicious rice and vegetables, chicken cutlet, a healthy salad and some sweet yummy cookies and brownies! (Got to feed them sugar and get their brains wired up for the next part of the festival!)
Within Friday night the participants were able to see and talk to some youth media programs from all over. Each program had a table and the young media makers were able to see what each program is involved in and ask them questions on what they do. The groups that were involved in the show and tell were Black Girls Code, Latino USA, The Lamp, PressPass TV, Project ED, ReelWorks, and the YMCA.
After dinner, time for some brainstorming. The participants met some incredible youth media graduates who reported on stories about social justice, health issues, and the importance of youth voice through an on-line live-chat session to help generate story ideas. They had a chance to pick each other's brains to help brainstorm for their next day's reporting and creation.
After exploring everyone's brains, I mean ideas, they then had to choose a topic, and make plans for the next day. The story planning included who they might want to interview, where and how they were going to record the interviews.
Saturday morning started early with breakfast and a motivating talk by WNYC's Manoush Zomorodi from New Tech City. She got the teams geared up and reminded them to have fun while reporting. Manoush left them with a some advice on reporting and journalism, C.A.T.:
And then off the young media makers go! Get set and go report!
Each team organized their materials for the day and set out to do some recording! Most of the day was spent out in the field while they were asking people on the street about their topics for the mayoral race.
Mid-day Saturday each team trickled back into St. Joseph's College and other host sites to begin editing their stories. They were going through all the interviews they took that morning and processing the best way to organize a story. This was a time crunch! The teams only had a few hours to edit and produce their final piece that had to come in at four minutes or less. It was just exciting, motivating and wonderful to see all these young media makers in front of laptops, wearing headphones and really engaging with the work they were doing. Please check out the slideshow below:
We look forward to holding the Digital Waves Festival again next year, and hopefully more NewsHivers out there want like to host these newsrooms popping up and hacking the news around the nation!
Congratulations and thank you to all the participants!!!
Also, our Tumblr page will break down the timeline of the entire process. Check it out!
Don't forget to subscribe to our youtube channel where you can watch all the videos from Digital Waves NewsHive!