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The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) formed out of recognition that youth are critical to the future of democracy and that the digital age is introducing technological changes that are impacting how youth develop into informed, engaged, and effective actors.

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Content for This Generation
Updated: 46 min 30 sec ago

Alternate Reality Game Eavesdrops On Climate Changed Future

March 31, 2014 - 12:44pm

The year is 20XX: Dallas is covered in 30 inches of snow, San Francisco is experiencing mild tornadoes, and Greenland has become a tropical paradise. At least, this is what inhabitants of possible futures are saying in the new alternate reality game, Future Coast.

Future Coast is the brainchild of game designer Ken Eklund, who worked in collaboration with Columbia University’s PoLAR Partnership. Elkund has created many politically-minded games. Now he’s using alternate reality gaming to advance climate change awareness.

Here’s how the game works: players log onto the Future Coast and get instructions for where to find transparent disks called chronofacts, which are hidden in the real world. The site provides the GPS coordinates for these objects, which players can punch into GoogleMaps and follow directions to find them. Once players find a chronofact, they take a picture and upload it to FutureCoast.org, where Coasters ‘decode’ it. The disk carries a new voicemail from the future, which the game-makers share online and through the Future Coast podcast. In reality, the messages are dreamed up and recorded by players who call into 321-7-FCOAST. Callers will hear an automated greeting, “Welcome to the Future Coast hotline, this is where you create voicemails from possibly climate changed futures.”

Sara Thacher, a Future Coast producer says, “It’s a great way of making the fiction come out of the web and surround us.”

On a drizzling Sunday, I wanted to step into that fiction, so I went out to find a chronofact hidden in Oakland, CA. The coordinates online directed me to Lake Merritt, but when I got there, I couldn’t find the artifact. I searched in the park, around the lake, and even in a few trash cans, with no luck. Although it is possible that I simply didn’t look hard enough, the lost chronofact may be the result of a glitch in the system, or maybe a curious passerby beat me to it.

“The first person [who] gets there gets the object [chronofact],” explains Thacher.

Despite my disappointment about not getting my hands on a chronofact, I do plan to try again, and you can too. Other chronofalls have occurred in major cities around the United States and Europe.
Despite my disappointment about not getting my hands on a chronofact, I do plan to try again, and you can too. Other chronofalls have occurred in major cities around the United States and Europe.

@FutrCoast found it with @NeuronYork #chronofall pic.twitter.com/t62BtChsZ8

— Kate de Longpre’ (@ShoutOutKate) February 10, 2014

@CarolineLucas There’s been a chronofall in Brighton, UK @FutrCoast pic.twitter.com/9yfRBnvtws

— Sarah Atkinson (@DrSarahAtkinson) March 5, 2014

Uncovered chronofacts have released dozens of future voicemails. From the year 2064, the possible weather forecast might call for rain, which has become occasion for a “rain party.” “So bring your best glassware” the future caller advises, “we’re going to set the glasses outside, let them fill up with rain, and then we’re all going to toast the rain together.”

I even made my own message from a possible future, telling of the impending heatwaves damaging the University of Berkeley in the year 2065.

Going on a scavenger hunt or leaving voicemails of meteorologically extraordinary events is engaging. Though you can’t play the game for very long– unless you intend to travel from city-to-city in search of chronofacts.

Future Coast is a part of the climate-fiction or cli-fi genre, which is inspired by radical climate situations. The name became more commonly used in the last few years, but the genre has existed for decades in books, films, and TV. Perhaps you’ve seen the genre in films like The Day After Tomorrow, Evan Almighty, Waterworld, or even all the way back to 1961 “Twilight Zone” classic:Midnight Sun. In this episode, the Earth moves closer to the sun, where “even at midnight, it’s high noon– the hottest day in history.”

But how do all these works of fiction help us understand the real dangers of climate change? Stephanie Pfirman co-chairs the Environmental Science department at Barnard University and is a member of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. She says, “Stories help in making connections, breaking down disciplinary boundaries and linking larger scale events with personal consequences.” She notes that the gamification of climate change can bring a deeper understanding of climate change to the public. “Scientists are increasingly using scenarios and storylines as ways to explore the implications of both environmental changes and societal choices.”

Personally, as someone deeply interested in science fiction, I find climate fiction interesting… when used right. Although I don’t think it will become a hugely popular genre until the possible future gets even closer to becoming a climate reality.

Categories: Blog

Famous American Rock Band Journey Visited Youth Radio

March 12, 2014 - 11:49am

Two popular members of the rock band Journey, Prairie Prince (Drummer) and Ross Valory (Bass Player) visit for an interview with Youth Radio Intern Skylar Bryant, giving young musicians timeless advice and tips on how to stay connected to music even if it’s not through the music industry. “Keep your day job, complete an education, and develop a second skill,”  Valory said.

Watch a short clip of the interview here.

Prairie Prince (Drummer, left) Skylar Bryant (Youth Radio Intern, middle) and Ross Valory (Bass Player, right).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Blog

Youth Radio Wins Gracie Award for Outstanding Soft News Feature Category

March 6, 2014 - 4:54pm

Lockdowns The Norm For Schools With Frequent Threats, Youth Radio’s report on what lockdowns mean in Bay Area schools and what they feel like to kids, won the organization’s 5th Gracie Award for Outstanding Soft News Features Category presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation.

Reporter Robyn Gee visited schools in the Bay Area speaking with students about “lockdowns” right before the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The Gracie award winning story was published in the midst of the shooting in 2012.

The annual Gracie Award ceremony honors national and local organizations designed for women and recognize individuals’ contributions in media. Staff will be attending the Gracie Awards Luncheon in June to receive the Award on behalf of Youth Radio.

Listen to Lockdowns The Norm For Schools With Frequent Threats.

Categories: Blog

Youth Radio is a Finalist for Sports Reporting Award

February 25, 2014 - 3:22pm
Youth Radio has been selected as a finalist for the Award for Excellence in Coverage of Youth Sports from The John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State.

The award is intended to recognize work by daily and weekly newspapers, local and national television news broadcasts and national news organizations. Work nominated for the award displays creative, in-depth and innovative coverage of youth and high school sports. Youth Radio nominated a recent piece written by youth intern Kendrick Calkins focused on traditional football practices used in the NFL and high schools. Calkins’ piece looks at three safety measures being used by the pros, compares them to what’s happening at the high school level, and asks: is your school protecting your head? Additional reporting on this story comes from Texas station KERA and its reporter Lauryn Silverman, a Youth Radio alumna. Listen to the full story here.
Categories: Blog

Youth Radio Wins East Bay Innovation Award

February 14, 2014 - 5:16pm

On February 13th, Youth Radio accepted the East Bay Innovation Award from the East Bay Economic Development Alliance (East Bay EDA).

Youth Radio was the winner in the “Catalyst” category, which recognizes organizations that go beyond their boundaries to make partnerships and create change and spur entrepreneurial activity. The organization was praised for pulling together East Bay assets in new ways and catalyzing new thinking and processes.

Youth Radio staff and youth participants were honored to be on the program along with Kaiser, Sungevity, Zero Net Energy, Aspera, Children’s Hospital and Research Center, Meyer Sound, Tech Bridge, and Back to the Roots Venture.Youth Radio Alumni Kenny Foster accepted the Award alongside Deputy Director Jabari Gray at Oakland’s historic Fox Theater. To learn more visit: www.eastbayeda.org.

Categories: Blog

Youth Radio Named A Finalist for the East Bay Innovation Awards

February 5, 2014 - 3:29pm

Youth Radio has been named a finalist in the second annual East Bay Innovation Awards, hosted by the East Bay Economic Development Alliance and the San Francisco Business Times.  

The Awards celebrate cutting-edge innovators in clean technology, advanced manufacturing, food, information/communication technology, life sciences, engineering and designm catalyst, and education. They seek to honor those making notable contributions to the East Bay’s culture of innovation.

Out of more than 100 nominations, Youth Radio has been named a finalist in the “catalyst” category for our work preparing the next generation of leaders and innovators for the new digital economy.

 

Categories: Blog

What Does It Mean to be Youth-Driven?

February 4, 2014 - 12:51pm

When you’ve been doing something for 20 years, if you’re not careful, you can go on auto-pilot.

Compared to other fields, the risk of stagnation may be less of a concern in a digital media context that never stands still. But even so, at Youth Radio, periodically we step back to reflect on our process of collaborative production that’s been developing here over the past 20+ years. To keep us on our toes.

The launch of the Innovation Lab has given us lots of opportunities to assess how we typically do things, because we’re having to create new systems and practices. Until Fall of 2013, Youth Radio’s Newsroom and App Lab operated as separate programs. With the Innovation Lab, we’re collaborating. Young people co-produce stories that combine the journalism we’re known for with “bits of technology” (news apps, interactive info graphics, maps, etc.) that bring the story alive and invite our readers/viewers/listeners to personalize and participate in the narrative. All of it–the reporting, the design, the development–is done by youth in partnership with peers and adult professional colleagues.

In the process of inventing new methods, we’re also revisiting what we do everyday. Last month, the production company staff had a day-long retreat. As part of the agenda, we took up the question: What do we mean when we say we’re a “youth-driven” newsroom? As a way to make our answers concrete, we did a brief scan of other models for youth programming. We talked about:

  • Youth-run projects: with less of a focus than our newsroom has on youth-adult collaboration
  • Youth development initiatives: with less of a focus on generating professional-grade products than we have here
  • Traditional workforce initiatives: where the most important outcome is placement in a job site
  • Token youth involvement: where young people are engaged in only superficial ways to make a project appear credible

With the exception of that last option, which we do everything we can to avoid, there are strong elements of all the other approaches across Youth Radio. (For example, our Pathways program  seeks to place young adults into sustainable careers.) But in our newsroom, we face a distinct set of circumstances, opportunities and pressures that have led to our development of a youth-driven approach.

What does that look like in action? We explored that question together by organizing our conversation around a set of scenarios. Each brings into relief at least one of the pressures that can, if we’re not careful, pull us off our youth-driven model. For those of you who collaborate with youth on hands-on joint productions, whether in the context of media making, or citizen-science, or community campaigns, it might be useful to consider your big pressures and scenarios your teams can use to talk through what to do to stay true to your particular version of youth-driven activity.

Pressure #1: Deadlines

We’re working on a feature that we’ve pitched to a national outlet, and they’re interested. Collaborating with a producer, a newsroom intern has collected all the tape, including scenes and interviews with young people and an analyst. Then a related news story breaks that gets the outlet excited about getting our piece on quickly. The editor calls and asks to see something by the next morning. The young person on the story can’t come in that afternoon. What do you do? How far do you take the story in the young person’s absence?

Pressure #2: Skills

We’ve put together a strong script and sent it over to an editor, who likes it but asks for a lot more information establishing the scale of the issue we’re highlighting. The editor wants more data and a sense of the debates relevant to our issue. Answering those kinds of questions would require wading through research publications and public databases, and probably talking to a series of experts representing diverse schools of thought. What role should the young person play in that process, if this is the first big story they’re working on?

Pressure #3: Stakes

Let’s say we’ve been working forever, it seems, trying to find a character in a really sensitive story. Several prior candidates have dropped out after talking to us once or twice. It seemed like they were ambivalent about sharing their experiences. What role should young people play in finding leads and tapping their own networks of family members and friends? How important is it for them to be the ones to make the contacts and have the conversations leading to getting someone to go on record? What does that process look like, for the young people in our program and for the story’s possible sources?

 

 

 

 

Categories: Blog

Youth Radio Podcast: Are Teenagers Today More Narcissistic?

February 3, 2014 - 10:15am

Are teens today more narcissistic than ever before? Some psychologists are pointing to a personality test called the Narcissism Personality Inventory, which seems to indicate that millennials have a historically high sense of self-obsession. But not everyone thinks the test is a great tool to use on teens, who may need an inflated sense of self to protect themselves against the natural pitfalls of puberty. In this week’s podcast replay, Youth Radio’s teen reporters turn the lens on themselves as they investigate their own narcissism scores, and interview an expert on what this trend might mean for the success of the next generation.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.youthradio.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/YR_Podcast_Narcisist.mp3
Categories: Blog

Youth Radio Podcast: Are Teenagers Today More Narcissistic?

February 2, 2014 - 11:22pm
Are teens today more narcissistic than ever before? Some psychologists are pointing to a personality test called the Narcissism Personality Inventory, which seems to indicate that millennials have a historically high sense of self-obsession. But not everyone thinks the test is a great tool to use on teens, who may need an inflated sense of self to protect themselves against the natural pitfalls of puberty. In this week’s podcast replay, Youth Radio’s teen reporters turn the lens on themselves as they investigate their own narcissism scores, and interview an expert on what this trend might mean for the success of the next generation.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.youthradio.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/YR_Podcast_Narcisist.mp3
Categories: Blog

Happy Holidays From Youth Radio

December 18, 2013 - 3:30pm

This time of year we’re reminded of what we’re most thankful for: our students, board members, fellow colleagues, audience members, partners, and supporters. Thanks and happy holidays!

Categories: Blog

Youth Radio Receives National Endowment For The Arts Grant

December 17, 2013 - 3:24pm

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded Youth Radio a $40 thousand grant to launch the Remix Your Life Lab, a project that partners young people with transmedia journalist to develop and experiment with new forms of hands-on arts learning, creative production, artistic performance and media storytelling. Youth Radio students will co-produce media content that merges original artistic expression with journalism and sound design in innovative ways. The Remix Your Life Lab will empower young people to employ the multimedia training Youth Radio provides to create art, and enable journalists to utilize art and music in news reporting.

Youth Radio is one of 895 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence: public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancing the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,528 eligible Art Works applications, requesting more than $75 million in funding.

Categories: Blog

Community Activism Through Mapping

November 25, 2013 - 10:54am

Say there’s an issue in your community you want to fix. There are the obvious tactics. Maybe you try picketing, talking to your local government, or collecting signatures from your neighbors. But have you ever thought of mapping your issue? That’s what four students at Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles did with the help of the i.am.angel Foundation and the mapping company, Esri.

You can watch a video of students presenting their work about important issues facing their community here. The maps compared median household income and race to show segregation; the number of murals to the number of billboards; and where environmentally contaminated areas overlap with high density neighborhoods.

All the students were told to map an environmental justice issue. Uriel Gonzalez, one of the four students from Roosevelt High, decided to map access to parks in his community. He and his team collected data and focused on three different areas, which were health, safety, and cultural enrichment. Uriel surveyed his community, asking questions like, “Are our parks safe?” and “Is our general population around this community unhealthy because they’re not staying active?”

One highlight from his data compared the green space in his community for the living to the green space for the deceased. “And we were like, ‘Wow, that doesn’t even make up as many of the acres in our cemetery,’” said Uriel.  He reported that the cemetery near his neighborhood is twice as large as all of the parks combined.

Since Uriel presented his project, he’s notice some increased interest in greening his community. He said, “There’s an organization that’s coming in and they want to beautify Roosevelt, and add more green to it. It gives me excitement to know that they’re actually taking it seriously.”

 

Categories: Blog

Live Chat: Connecting Youth to Job Pathways

November 19, 2013 - 11:58am

Please join Youth Radio’s New Options Project Youth Advisors (NOPYAs) on November 21 at 4pm PDT for our third and final live online chat about youth unemployment.

Employers in the U.S. are struggling to find qualified workers to fill many of the open job positions in America. How do we fill these open positions with young adults ages 16-24? What is the future for hiring?

We want to hear your opinions about how young people, employers, educators, politicians, philanthropists and other stakeholders can work together to close the skills gap.

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Categories: Blog

Youth Radio Celebrates 20 Years

November 14, 2013 - 5:07pm

Last night, Youth Radio celebrated the kickoff of its 20th year. Guests were treated to a live show featuring youth reporters and performers, and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada, co-authors of League of Denial. Youth Radio’s CHEF students prepared all food, and a student provided the beats. Thank you to all of partners, sponsors, and friends-old and new-for making this special occasion possible and for celebrating the past 20 years of youth achievement and award winning media. Here’s to the next 20 years!

Categories: Blog

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November 13, 2013 - 2:50pm

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Categories: Blog

Youth Radio’s 20th Anniversary Kickoff

October 15, 2013 - 4:08pm

On November 13th, Youth Radio will celebrate its 20th year of award-winning media and the opening of its new art gallery space, Youth Radio 1719. Featured guests include Youth Radio students and leadership, Steve Fainaru, Youth Radio board member and co-author of League of Denial, and Mark Fainaru-Wada, co-author of League of Denial. Food will be prepared by Youth Radio CHEF program participants.

Individual tickets are available with a $75 donation to Youth Radio, and sponsorships for $750. Sponsorships include ten tickets and program listing. All event donations will be tripled by long-time Youth Radio supporter, The Jenesis Group.

Youth Radio’s 20th Anniversary Kickoff

Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 6:30pm to 8pm

1719 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

Tickets and sponsorships are available through our website.

For more information, contact Youth Radio by phone at 510.251.1101 or by email at events@youthradio.org.

 

Categories: Blog

Youth Radio’s 20th Anniversary Kickoff

October 15, 2013 - 4:08pm

On November 13th, Youth Radio will celebrate its 20th year of award-winning media and the opening of its new art gallery space, Youth Radio 1719. Featured guests include Youth Radio students and leadership, Steve Fainaru, Youth Radio board member and co-author of League of Denial, and Mark Fainaru, co-author of League of Denial. Food will be prepared by Youth Radio CHEF program participants.

Individual tickets are available with a $75 donation to Youth Radio, or sponsor a table for $750. All event donations will be tripled by long-time Youth Radio supporter, The Jenesis Group.

Youth Radio’s 20th Anniversary Kickoff

Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 6:30pm to 8pm

1719 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

Tickets and table sponsorships are available on our website.

For more information, contact Youth Radio by phone at 510.251.1101 or by email at events@youthradio.org.

 

Categories: Blog

Youth Radio Receives NSF Grant

September 26, 2013 - 11:27am

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Youth Radio a $1.7 million grant to launch the Youth Radio Innovation Lab, a three-year project that partners underserved young people with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professionals as makers of socially-relevant apps and multimedia stories that reach mass audiences.

Youth Radio secured funding from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation in 2012 to pilot the Innovation Lab, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has supported Youth Radio’s coverage of digital innovation that fuels learning. Through the NSF grant and ongoing partnership with co-grantee MIT Media Lab’s Center for Mobile Learning, Youth Radio will test and share projects that advance informal STEM learning. A primary goal is the development of a media-rich toolkit that allows professionals and educators to promote STEM learning through app development and media production in their own communities.

“The Innovation Lab builds on Youth Radio’s top-flight journalism and our track-record as one of the first programs in the US to teach teens mobile app development,” says co-Principal Investigator Lissa Soep. “This isn’t about one-time exposure. Through the innovation Lab, young people collaborate over time on iterative projects and in the process transform from consumers to creators of scientific knowledge, from users to producers of new technology.”

Participants will design and create apps that provide insight into youth-identified issues, fostering awareness, communication, and connection. Projects will likely include explorations into environmental science, biology, and neuroscience, with social science featuring prominently as participants collect and analyze data within their communities. The process and results will be shared through Youth Radio’s Science Desk and national network of media outlets, including NPR and National Geographic, to engage users nationwide.

“Mobile computing and digital media have a power that’s changing all of our lives,” said Hal Abelson, Director, MIT Center for Mobile Learning. “Our vision for the Innovation Lab is to put that power into the hands of young people—and all people—to use as a force for creating, learning, and enriching their communities.”

Categories: Blog

Youth Radio Receives NSF Grant

September 26, 2013 - 11:27am

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Youth Radio a $1.7 million grant to launch the Youth Radio Innovation Lab, a three-year project that partners underserved young people with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professionals as makers of socially-relevant apps and multimedia stories that reach mass audiences.

Youth Radio secured funding from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation in 2012 to pilot the Innovation Lab, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has supported Youth Radio’s coverage of digital innovation that fuels learning. Through the NSF grant and ongoing partnership with co-grantee MIT Media Lab’s Center for Mobile Learning, Youth Radio will test and share projects that advance informal STEM learning. A primary goal is the development of a media-rich toolkit that allows professionals and educators to promote STEM learning through app development and media production in their own communities.

“The Innovation Lab builds on Youth Radio’s top-flight journalism and our track-record as one of the first programs in the US to teach teens mobile app development,” says co-Principal Investigator Lissa Soep. “This isn’t about one-time exposure. Through the innovation Lab, young people collaborate over time on iterative projects and in the process transform from consumers to creators of scientific knowledge, from users to producers of new technology.”

Participants will design and create apps that provide insight into youth-identified issues, fostering awareness, communication, and connection. Projects will likely include explorations into environmental science, biology, and neuroscience, with social science featuring prominently as participants collect and analyze data within their communities. The process and results will be shared through Youth Radio’s Science Desk and national network of media outlets, including NPR and National Geographic, to engage users nationwide.

“Mobile computing and digital media have a power that’s changing all of our lives,” said Hal Abelson, Director, MIT Center for Mobile Learning. “Our vision for the Innovation Lab is to put that power into the hands of young people—and all people—to use as a force for creating, learning, and enriching their communities.”

Categories: Blog

Congratulations To Our Graduates!

September 20, 2013 - 5:18pm

Last night, Youth Radio celebrated its latest class of graduates at our quarterly graduation ceremony at 1701 Broadway. Graduates shared media they produced throughout the session and received a certificate for completing three months of Youth Radio’s intensive digital media and technology training.  Young people from Youth Radio’s Remix Your Life program performed, and a youth DJ supplied the music.  We are so proud of the work of these talented young people, and can’t wait to see what they create in the years to come. Congratulations to all the graduates!

Categories: Blog

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