STORIES 3

PREVIOUSLY:

COVID good ZOOM 20 May.jpg

STORY SHOWCASE 2

COVID project ZOOM style combo.jpg

STORY SHOWCASE 1

WHAT'S GOING ON   The World Teenage Reporting Project > COVID-19 showcases stories by teenage reporters from around the world about what cohorts have been doing to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim has been to combat the prevailing image of the teenager as a problem of some kind, rarely as an active helper.

This third collection may be the last. [See EPILOGUE at the bottom of the page for more details; links at left for the two previous showcases.]

For this showcase, we have expanded the assignment to add some  National Coverage Roundups. These sets of briefs summarize the relatively few but important stories covered in mainstream news media that went beyond the stereotypes to highlight achievements by teenagers and even younger people. Roundups were contributed for Brazil, China, India, Israel, Spain and the United States.

PARTICIPANTS    Major national and international news media organizations and  student-run news media based in Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Beijing China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong China, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Montenegro, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, The United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.  The main media partner for the project is News Decoder (France).

Participant profiles are HERE

CONTACT    Dr. Aralynn McMane, info [at] youthandnewsmedia.net

USA

WILLIS HALL HERALD, VIRGINIA

Rebecca Kess is full-time secondary school student. She also volunteers in 12- to 24-hour shifts as a front-line emergency medical technician.

THE FULL STORY

STORY by Chloe Hunt

USA - Roanoke - EMT teen IMG_6060.jpeg
Flags INDIA combo.png

NATIONAL cOVERAGE ROUNDUP

Some stories from the country's mainstream news media about how teenagers have made a difference during the Covid-19 pandemic.

EDITOR

MAANSI ANAND, THE GLOBAL TIMES, AMITY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

South Africa - Ndlovu youth choir.jpg

SOUTH AFRICA

NDLOVU YOUTH CHOIR

A member of this famed youth choir from the rural Limpopo region tells the story of its video about how to wash hands when running water is scarce.

SEE THE STORY PREVIEW HERE

SPAIN (BARCELONA, CATALONIA)

THE RED REPORT • BLUE GLOBE MEDIA

Teenage journalists, who write and produce content for the collaborative media RED Report, interviewed their confined grandparents to learn about their lives and how they are coping.

 

In the process, they also gathered amazing stories.

THE FULL STORY
A Google translation to English HERE
Spain - RED - interview elders.jpg
Portugal combo-even wider margin.jpg

PORTUGAL

PÚBLICO • PÚBLICO NA ESCOLA

At the invitation of the Media Education Project of the daily national newspaper Público, teenage visual arts students used some of their time in confinement to create political cartoons and other visual commentary around the 46th anniversary of Portugal’s “Carnation Revolution” overthrow of the dictatorship that saw little violence and carnations offered to soldiers. 

THE FULL STORY

HONG KONG

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST • YOUNG POST
 

Reporter David Fischer led the Coronavirus effort of his classmates at the German Swiss International School, to fight on two fronts: printing and delivering 3D face shields to hospitals and getting relief packages of food and medical supplies to needy families in Hong Kong

THE FULL STORY
HONG KONG - SHIELDS AND RELIEF PACKAGES.

BRAZIL

AVENUES: SÃO PAULO

Screen Shot 2020-05-25 at 19.45.55.png

NATIONAL cOVERAGE ROUNDUP

Some stories from the country's mainstream news media about how teenagers have made a difference during the Covid-19 pandemic.

EDITOR

IVY LAM, THE EAGLE EYE, MARJORY DOUGLAS STONEMAN HIGH SCHOOL

USA - Jericho Khushie Fundraiser.jpg

USA

JERICHO HIGH SCHOOL, NEW YORK

Thanks to the close to $5000 she raised after starting  "Keep Our Healthcare Force Strong" on GoFundMe, reporter Khushie Shelat has delivered lunch to 600 front-line medical workers at six medical centers on Long Island. 

 

In a podcast, she explains why and how she did it. 

HEAR THE FULL STORY

JAPAN

YOMIURI SHIMBUN • YOMIURI JUNIOR PRESS

When local officials announced they would reopen schools, teenage students joined forces to say, "Please wait until it is safe." And the officials listened.

SEE THE STORY PREVIEW HERE
Japan classroom.jpg
Flags CHINA combo.jpg

NATIONAL cOVERAGE ROUNDUP

Some stories from the country's mainstream news media about how teenagers have made a difference during the Covid-19 pandemic.

EDITOR

LINDA HUANG,  BEIJING CITY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

Sweden - kids make hand sanitizer.jpg

SWEDEN

MOBILE STORIES

When the hospitals in their region started to run out of hand sanitizer in the midst of the pandemic, teenagers in Strömstad started producing it, with a little help from their science teacher..

They named it "Tegnell's Tears"

after the the country's chief

epidemiologist Anders Tegnell,

who has guided Sweden's

response to the pandemic. 

THE FULL STORY

STORY by Alice Nylander

BRAZIL

JOCA

For the Brazilian children's news publication Joca, reporter Catarina (at left in photo) interviews Valentina about what she herself learned when she started helping the needy during the pandemic in the "favela" neighborhood near her home in São Paulo.

 

THE FULL STORY

 

See the interview (in English) HERE

BRAZIL - JORCA - combo.jpg
Flags SPAIN combo.jpg

NATIONAL cOVERAGE ROUNDUP

Some stories from the country's mainstream news media about how teenagers have made a difference during the Covid-19 pandemic.

EDITOR

THE TEAM AT RED REPORT, BARCELONA

INDIA

YOCee.in

A group of friends, all 13-year-olds, who call themselves QuaranTEENs, conduct remote sessions for children to get them connected with front-line heroes and learn how to thank them.

THE FULL STORY

STORY by Sanjitha S

BRAZIL

AGORA

Students at the São Paulo branch of the international school Avenues set up fundraising and production system to produce a stunning  80,000 shields.

THE FULL STORY

STORY BY Manuela A., Manuela V., Ana B.

BRAZIL - MASKS.jpg

NATIONAL cOVERAGE ROUNDUP

Some stories from the country's mainstream news media about how teenagers have made a difference during the Covid-19 pandemic.

QINGLAN DU, BEIJING CITY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

EDITOR
USA - COMBO - CALIFORNIA.jpg

USA

THE PAW PRINT

Students at Woodside High School found lots of ways to help the community of Redwood, California during the pandemic, such as making covers for N95 masks and developing new ways to help its diverse student body get better at both English and Spanish during confinement.

THE FULL STORY

PODCAST and STORY by Taila Lee

Flags BRAZIL combo.jpg

NATIONAL cOVERAGE ROUNDUP

Some stories from the country's mainstream news media about how teenagers have made a difference during the Covid-19 pandemic.

EDITORS

MANUELA AMARAL & MANUELA VIEIRA

INDIA

YOCee.in

Children's choir members from Chennai and Delhi lent their voices to the four-hour "I for India" benefit concert.

THE FULL STORY

STORY by Medha R

India - choir.jpg
USA - Texas - lifenotes.jpeg

USA

GLENDA DAWSON HIGH SCHOOL

The school's Life Notes podcast tells the story of how the students pictured at left and their classmates became a mask-making community during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

 

HEAR THE FULL STORY

INTERVIEW by Alexis Reyes

ISRAEL

BEIJING CITY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

This reporter has been in Israel since January and recounts how Israeli teenagers have been helping pack and deliver food to that country's needy.

 

THE FULL STORY

STORY by Qinglan Du

AN EPILOGUE

(maybe to be CONTINUED)

The World Teenage Reporting Project > COVID-19 has concentrated on stories by teenage reporters from around the world that cover what they and their cohorts have been doing make a difference during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

 

This project came at a unique time and offered an equally unique opportunity to fill a clear gap in the worldwide coverage of the pandemic by encouraging teenage journalists to submit those stories.

 

The content that emerged held the key characteristic of solutions journalism in its focus on how people were responding proactively to societal problems. It also helped combat the prevailing image of teenagers as anything but proactive problem solvers.

 

THE WHY

Early on, teenagers had been generally portrayed either as careless beach frolickers who brought the virus home or as bored, whiny couch-sitters capable of recounting only how awful their lives had become. Later, some coverage became more sympathetic, especially around missed graduation ceremonies and proms, but the image remained mainly of the teenager as mostly a powerless victim, rarely even as a protagonist, and much less as an effective helper.

Even in stories by adults that did highlight teenage accomplishments, some writers could not resist the temptation to set up a false comparison with the “usual” kid who normally was seen as concentrating more on the mundane or frivolous: “Most ninth-grade girls worry about schoolwork, friends and crushes...” (CNN),  “While his friends are worrying about whether the prom will be cancelled...” (New Yorker), etc.

 

Most reporters would be horrified to even ponder taking such an approach in a story about a woman or a person of a specific ethnicity, but it was done with little hesitation for this group. [But credit went to where it was due in the national collections of mainstream media coverage about teenage accomplishments in this third showcase.]

THE RESPONSE

The response in April to the offer to join a World Teenage Reporting Project > COVID-19 was rapid and gratifying, though far from representative of the entire world. In all, 31 student- and adult-run news entities in 19 countries signed up with only a couple failing to produce content.  The people who mobilized were nothing less than awesome, both the teenage journalists and those adults who helped them. They all put up with an onslaught of instructions, tight deadlines, requests for more information and unsolicited “helpful suggestions.” They understood immediately, as did News Decoder, the main media partner for the project, why we were all doing this: to fill an important gap in the coverage,

Both advisors and the teenage journalists themselves reported benefits, sometimes to their own mental health.  [You can read the comments of some of those participants HERE.] I have organized other international journalistic experiences (a My Dream Interview Festival, The World Teeange News Takeover), but I must say that this was the most satisfying of such efforts, partly because of that same feeling of being able to do something in a time of general helplessness.

WHY A HIATUS, WHAT'S NEXT (and not)

Even as the project wound down in early June, potential new participating organizations were expressing interest in contributing to the effort. But it’s time at least to pause. Audiences are becoming weary of COVID-19 coverage in general, a trend documented most recently in the UK by the Reuters Institute at Oxford,  and most of the world is entering a time of vacation and (at least initial) deconfinement and reopening.

Now, I want to see some of these stories put to work in the creation of a permanent classroom resource, authentic content that will truly resonate with students, though I am not sure yet how to make that happen. 

Otherwise this is a hiatus, yes, but it is not a finish. While it is likely, though not inevitable, that COVID-19 as a topic for such global reporting by teenagers may be ending, another topic may emerge that proves worthwhile for a similar effort. It will not be easy to find. One of the key components of the reporting this time was its truly unique specificity: a global event coupled with a clear opportunity for stories that contributed something new.  Without those elements, there is the risk of teenage reporters’ content disappearing as it simply feeds the maw of a topic's general

coverage.

Let’s keep in touch.

Dr. Aralynn Abare McMane

Global Youth & News Media, Bayonne, France

aralynn [at] youthandnewsmedia.net   aralynnmcmane [at] gmail.com

India - 4 June - boys create ventilator.

INDIA

THE GLOBAL TIMES

Once again, people younger than teenagers get well-deserved attention in this project: Vinayak, 8 years old, and Kartik, 11, have figured out a way to automate hand-pumped ventilators.

THE FULL STORY

STORY by Dhriti Seth

IN CASE YOU MISSED EARLIER COVErAGE

COVID good ZOOM 20 May.jpg

STORY SHOWCASE 2

COVID project ZOOM style combo.jpg

STORY SHOWCASE 1

an EPILOGUE

(Maybe to be CONTINUED)

The World Teenage Reporting Project > COVID-19 has concentrated on stories by teenage reporters from around the world that cover what they and their cohorts have been doing to make a difference during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

 

This project came at a unique time and offered an equally unique opportunity to fill a clear gap in the worldwide coverage of the pandemic by encouraging teenage journalists to submit those stories.

 

The content that emerged held the key characteristic of solutions journalism in its focus on how this group of people were responding proactively to societal problems. It also helped combat the prevailing image of teenagers as anything but proactive problem solvers.

THE WHY

Early on, teenagers had been generally portrayed either as careless beach frolickers who brought the virus home or as bored, whiny couch-sitters capable of recounting only how awful their lives had become. Later, some coverage became more sympathetic, especially around missed graduation ceremonies and proms, but the prevalent image remained of the teenager as mostly a powerless victim, rarely even as a protagonist, and much less as an effective helper.

Even in reporting by adults that did highlight teenage accomplishments, some writers could not resist the temptation to set up a false comparison with the “usual” kid seen as concentrating more on the mundane or frivolous: “Most ninth-grade girls worry about schoolwork, friends and crushes...” (CNN),  “While his friends are worrying about whether the prom will be cancelled...” (New Yorker) and, about a 15-year-old, "Girls her age play Candy Crush or like watching cartoons..." (The Tribune, India). Most reporters would be horrified to even ponder taking such an approach in a story about a woman or a person of a specific ethnicity, but it is done repeatedly for this group. [But credit went to where it was due in the six national collections of mainstream media coverage about teenage accomplishments the group was able to do for in this third showcase.]

THe WHO & WHAT

The response in April to the offer to join a World Teenage Reporting Project > COVID-19 was rapid and gratifying, though far from representative of the entire world. In all, 31 student- and adult-run news entities in 19 countries signed up with only a couple failing to produce content. Together, they produced more than 50 stories in text, podcast and video. 

The stories highlighted every kind of assistance a teenager could offer, including:

  • Providing, and even inventing, protective gear and innovative medical devices. 

  • Making myriad special efforts to assure that neighbors, and especially elders, stayed safe. 

  • Mobilizing in creative ways to raise funding for anti-virus efforts and to support of the needy.

  • Redesigning their art, film-making, singing and even cooking to help.

  • Serving themselves on the medical front line.

 

The people who mobilized to get those stories done were nothing less than awesome, both the teenage journalists and those adults who helped them. They all put up with an onslaught of instructions, tight deadlines, requests for more information and unsolicited “helpful suggestions.” Most of all, they understood immediately, as did News Decoder, the main media partner for the project,  that we were all doing this to tell stories people needed to know.

 

Both advisors and the teenage journalists themselves reported benefits, sometimes to their own mental health.  [You can read the comments of some of those participants HERE.]

 

I have organized other international journalistic experiences (a My Dream Interview Festival, The World Teeage News Takeover), but I must say that this was the most satisfying of such efforts, partly because of that same feeling of being able to do something in a time of general helplessness.

WHAT’S NEXT, AND NOT

Even as the project wound down in early June, potential new participating organizations were expressing interest in contributing to the effort. But it’s time at least to pause. Audiences are becoming weary of COVID-19 coverage in general, a trend documented most recently in the UK by the Reuters Institute at Oxford, and most of the world is entering a time of new concerns and (at least initial) deconfinement and reopening.

Now, I want to explore the possibility of putting these stories to work in the creation of a permanent classroom resource, authentic content that will truly resonate with students, though I am not sure yet how to make that happen. 

Otherwise this is a hiatus, yes, but it is not a finale. While it is likely, though not inevitable, that COVID-19 as a topic for such global reporting by teenagers may be ending, another topic may emerge that proves worthwhile for a similar effort. It will not be easy to find. One of the key components of the reporting this time was its truly unique specificity: a global event coupled with a clear opportunity for stories that contributed something new. 

 

Without those elements, there is the risk of teenage reporters’ content disappearing as it simply feeds the maw of a topic's general coverage.

Meanwhile, let’s do keep in touch.

Dr. Aralynn Abare McMane

Global Youth & News Media, Bayonne, France

Aralynn [at] youthandnewsmedia.net   aralynnmcmane [at] gmail.com

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