Teen journalists wrote more than 60 stories featured in three World Teenage Reporting Project showcases.

Creating a video for tight-space exercise, inventing a robot to help caregivers and showing how to help older adults are just some of the ways teenagers are helping create solutions during the Coronavirus pandemic.

These and more than two dozen other stories, accessible as of 4 May, represent the first phase of the World Teenage Reporting Project >COVID 19, organized by Global Youth & News Media.

The goal is to combat the prevailing image these days of teenagers as either careless beach frolickers who bring the virus home or as bored couch-sitters who think about only themselves.

Since mid April…

Gathering memories, from a distance.

Once, I recorded three hours of my Aunt Betty’s fabulous stories over coffee sitting in her kitchen. Now, there’s a new time for harvesting such precious memories.

What better way for a tech-savvy grandchild to behave in confinement than to become the one to assure that a beloved voice and important family stories are safe through a remote conversation or two. And there’s a lot of new help to make it happen.

StoryCorps began in 2003 with a recording booth in New York City’s Grand Central Station for people to create oral histories together between trains. In 2015, it did…

Screen shot: John Krasinski in Episode 1 of SGN — Some Good News
Screen shot: John Krasinski in Episode 1 of SGN — Some Good News

John Krasinski’s Some Good News weekly YouTube newscast doesn’t target teenagers, but clearly shows how to resonate with an authenticity of voice, some humor and a call to action in a strategy he surely doesn’t know about called “AHA.”

My former media intern, Emma Knight, now founder of Greenhouse Juice in Canada, came up with that “AHA” approach for creating journalism that would resonate with young people: Authenticity — Humor — Action.

The AHA perspective demands a difficult mix to get it right: sounding real and relevant, adding enough but not too much fun and then giving people direction about…

Media literacy programs that do not include lessons on how quality journalism works and why it is important do a disservice, and even damage, to democracy.

Without that component, those programs risk encouraging a hostility to the key role attentive reporting plays as a counterforce to political power.

Indeed, that’s exactly what an unmatched seminal study found a decade ago. The author, a leading global scholar on media literacy, hasn’t seen a replication since and hesitates to do one himself as he’s “afraid of what I might find.”

However, it is hard to know what to emphasize and how to…

The Dainik Jagran media company in India helped students participate in a successful campaign to reduce pollution in their choking city.

One of the perks of running a contest is that you get to find out about a lot of fabulous work, even though the jury can choose only a couple of winners. That was the case for The Planet Award category of this year’s Global Youth & News Media Prize.

Don’t get me wrong, the top winner, El Surturi, did a superb work in mobilizing Paraguayan young people to help save a national treasure: the Gran Chacos forest. (Later, come back and click on this link to read all about what they did.) …

NEW VOICES AT WORK — Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student journalists Rebecca Schneid, Emma Dowd and Dara Rosen at a special editorial planning meeting at The Guardian US. (Photo by Ali Smith for The Guardian, used with permission)

By Aralynn A.A. McMane

Right now, Frankfurter Neue Presse in Germany is letting secondary students take over an entire Saturday edition, and U.S. students are preparing a documentary that will be broadcast by Urbana, Illinois, public radio, as their predecessors have done since 1993.

News executives find giving young people a real voice in their established media a risky business, but organizations that dare to try it realize it is for their own good. In the best cases, editors are involved to both teach and learn.

“We definitely need them,” Kimberlie Kranich, Director of Education and Community Engagement at the…

Aralynn A.A. McMane

Based in France, I love to encourage and help news media worldwide to better serve, support and engage young audiences.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store