In this video, we are shown what was offered for a youth reporter at the Statewide Youth Media Network Conference.
Access joined other youth reporters at this year’s 2019 Youth Media Conference. A new bill proposes to make the voting age to 17. In this video we ask other youth about what they think about lowering the voting age.
In the era of “fake news”, youth media organizations from all over California came together for the 2018 Youth Media Statewide Conference to sharpen their skills in journalism. This event was held in Oakland between February 17th – 18th at the Waterfront Hotel and was hosted by Youth Radio, a nonprofit media production company, an institution that prepares young people for the 21st-century digital workplace. The conference consisted of speakers and their experiences as freelance journalists, workshops on topics concerning photojournalism techniques and social media management, and networking opportunities.
So why is it important for young reporters to learn skills about media literacy and journalism? In light of the 2016 election, many American consumers of digital news and social media are aware of fake news and many young reporters in California are working to combat that with training in media literacy and in the production of quality, reputable local news.
“I really enjoyed meeting other youth media programs at the conference,” said Jazmine Justice-Young, a fellow youth media reporter. “I think my team and I learned a lot from the workshops they had that we’ll be taking back with us.”
Various workshops were provided to train young reporters to create quality news content. Erika Aguilar, a Podcast Producer and Reporter of KQED Public Radio in San Francisco, and Laura Klivans, a Community Health Reporter of KQED Public Radio who is also stationed in San Francisco, gave lessons in podcasting – and what different formats they consist of in terms of the level of production – as well as some techniques to ensure maximum audio standards for the audience’s experience.
Noah Berger, a freelance photographer who works for national and international news outlets such as the Associated Press, Reuters, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times, did a presentation concerning his experiences, techniques, and ethics of photojournalism. He demonstrated hands-on lighting techniques and discussed the best approaches to covering protests and other potentially-risky assignments.
Annie Yu, an Audience Engagement Editor of the L.A. Times, taught strategies of using social media in journalism to be more engaging to the audience. The basics include making a social media plan for a story, leading crowdsourcing campaigns, and building an audience.
The 2018 Youth Media Conference was overall a success as many youth reporters learned from experienced journalists and the training and support provided by the conference helped to sharpen the skills needed to be a credible, self-sufficient journalist.
The California Endowment recently initiated the “No Such Thing” campaign with the hope to promote awareness of the fact that slang terms such as ‘underage hooker’ and ‘child prostitute’ are invalid. This movement came to fruition after the Associated Press declared it would remove such terms from their dictionary and replacing them with “child rape” and “child sex trafficking victim”.
“There is, in fact, no such thing as a ‘child prostitute’ because children cannot legally consent to sex, and under federal law, they are considered victims of human trafficking,” said Yasmin Vafa, the Executive Director of the Rights4Girls program. “In any other situation this would be seen as child or statutory rape. There is no difference between raping a child and paying to rape a child. Money cannot erase violence and trauma.”
Human trafficking of every genre is a major crisis in America, and especially so in the city of Sacramento, which is widely known as the human trafficking capital of this country. The AP move toward terminating the use of demoralizing and inaccurate slang terms in the media is seen by many as a step toward humanizing these exploited children.
“Each year more than 1,000 children are arrested for prostitution in the US despite not being old enough to even consent to sex,” says Vafa. “Instead of being seen as victims of child rape, these children are instead seen by law enforcement and other first responders as criminals.” She suggests that more accurate terms will help “showcase the true reality of what is playing out in the lives of these children. These terms help evoke the elements of abuse and victimization that characterize the condition of children bought and sold for sex.”
90 minutes to the west of Sacramento, the Oakland Police are experiencing their own scandal involving a young adult by the named of Celeste Guap. Thanks to an investigation by a local newspaper, the public has been given access to her private messages and comments wherein she seems pleased to have sold her body to sworn law enforcement officers for protection or money. According to Vafa, it is important to note that Guap remains a victim of her environment and “that the difference between 17 and 18 is just one day. We cannot pretend that someone who was first trafficked and exploited as a child magically becomes an empowered ‘sex worker’ once the clock strikes 18.” It is very likely that Guap is making the best out of a situation in which she probably threatened daily and has very little freedom.
Whether we see it or not, children in communities all across the country are still arrested for being raped. As Vafa said, “this is truly one of the biggest human rights failures facing our country today.” With movements such as #NoSuchThing, it is hoped that the hearts and minds of the American people will begin to rally around these victims in the shadows.
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