Social Justice Youth Media

Authored by: Elisabeth Soep , Belia Mayeno Saavedra , Nishat Kurwa

Handbook of Social Justice in Education

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  June  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805859270
eBook ISBN: 9780203887745
Adobe ISBN: 9781135596149


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Like any radio feature, this story contains multiple characters, and the full version, the one we really want to tell, won’t fit the prescribed format. It’s a story about stories—narratives young people produce for broadcast on local and national media outlets, through an organization called Youth Radio in Oakland, California. Youth Radio was founded in 1992 by broadcast journalist Ellin O’Leary. Students are recruited from economically abandoned, heavily tracked, and rapidly resegregating public schools. They come to Youth Radio after school to write commentaries and news features, produce and DJ music segments, host panel discussions and community events, and create videos and web content. They arrive at Youth Radio on a Wednesday and, by Friday of that same week, they’re on the air for a live public radio show, Youth in Control. After six months of introductory and advanced classes, students can move into paid positions in Youth Radio’s various departments. At any given time, approximately 35 young people ages 14 to 24 are on payroll. Their teachers are peers who’ve graduated from the program, and their circle of collaborators, producers, and editors includes adult media professionals attached to some of the world’s most influential broadcast outlets.

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