Mixing Young and Old to Create a New Approach

O'Leary, Ellin
December 2003
Nieman Reports;Winter2003, Vol. 57 Issue 4, p45
The article focuses on the strategies employed by Youth Radio station to balance insights and ideas about content with the professionalism and knowledge of their adult counterparts. Youth Radio trains young people to become journalists and to produce content for a variety of audiences, in formats including newspapers, television, radio and the Internet. In the newsroom, a frequent challenge is to follow the young producers' advice, especially when they are not sure they are right. The young producers insisted music should play for the entire two-hour show, as a continuous sound under the features, interviews and even the call-ins. Youth Radio students often remind listeners that teenagers and young adults do not usually think of themselves as part of a particular audience. Rather they describe themselves as avid consumers or media surfers on an infinite ocean of content. Young writers and producers not only present the views of their generation, but also identify stories and produce them with distinctive youth style. Its success with mainstream media outlets is built on the of collaboration. Because Youth Radio's goal is to bring diverse voices to the largest and most diverse possible, it produces lots of different kinds of programming.


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