The newly minted
Pittsburgh Youth Media
project has recruited 32 local high-schoolers from 26 districts to report on this month's international young leadership conference -- One Young World, Oct. 18-22 -- and to give a youth perspective to other future events in Pittsburgh.
The project began with the formation of the Pittsburgh Youth Media Advocacy Project (YMAP) at Carlow University a year ago. Deciding to focus on One Young World as their first reporting effort, YMAP recruited nearly three-dozen young journalists for a boot-camp training at the studios of SLB Radio Productions, Inc. on Oct. 4 and 5.
Larry Berger, SLB executive director, says the experience was "amazing -- just great kids, eager to get started." Lessons focused on everything from effective storytelling to how to meet a deadline, fact versus opinion, and how to secure and conduct a good interview.
The group practiced their interview techniques first on Post-Gazette
writer Tony Norman, who was aiding in the training and the overall effort, along with representatives from Carlow, SLB, the Consortium for Public Education, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Pittsburgh Community Television and WQED Multimedia. The stories the kids produced next, about preparations for One Young World, are already on the Pittsburgh Youth Media Website (pghyouthmedia.com) in audio, video and print formats.
"They were given technical mentors, [although] the kids had plenty of expertise already," Berger notes. At One Young World, the young scribes will have their own press room and plan to gather on its first morning to devise their assignments and take off into the field, "more or less given free rein to cover what they want to cover," he adds.
Pittsburgh Youth Media project already plans to help guide the group organizing next year's One Young World, in Johannesburg, South Africa, to form their own student media corps. But Berger says the Pittsburgh Youth Media project will continue long after the 1,500 reps from 190 countries have left Pittsburgh, and will be great Burgh ambassadors themselves. "Next year there will be another international convention here," Berger says. "The eyes of the world will be on Pittsburgh. Our kids will become a story for someone."
Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Larry Berger, SLB Radio Productions, Inc.