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Youth-led media is any effort created, planned, implemented, and reflected upon by young people in the form of media, including websites, newspapers, television shows and publications.[1][2][3]


These efforts form the basis of an international movement born in the early 1970s in Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S. by the publishing arm of a left-wing, teen-led organization called Youth Liberation of Ann Arbor, which existed from 1970 to 1980. One of its founders went on to form the New York City-based Youth Communication, a youth-led media program for young people in foster care. Another organization in the early movement was Children's Express, which operates programs around the world.

In the early 1990s this movement gained new expression in the United States in response to growing media bias against youth, i.e. the hyper-sensationalization of youth violence ala "superpredators", and continued to grow due to the "Columbine" shootings. The first online, teen-written newspaper, The Tattoo, began in 1994 with a promise of giving voice to teens. This movement features hundreds of individuals and organizations working across the United States to promote the roles of young people in society and in the media.[4] Demonstrating the wide reach of youth-led media a program in Oakland, California called Youth Radio has been featured across national media outlets in the U.S., including NPR and PBS. Other examples include the Blunt Youth Radio Project, which provides an hour-long, weekly, youth-produced public affairs radio show on WMPG in Portland, Maine, and The Global Youth Review, an international literary magazine dedicated to amplifying youth voices. [5] A general interest magazine called Nang! is produced and distributed on a quarterly basis to 14- to 21-year-olds in London. Speak Africa is a Pan-African youth-produced multi-media communication initiative that works in print, radio, TV, the Internet and community theatre, and the Vera Project is an all-ages, non-profit youth music organization in Seattle, Washington. Coal Cracker[6] youth-led news based in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, is a quarterly newspaper and website with content by young journalists from 12–18 years old.

In the United Kingdom, the BBC Young Reporter (formerly BBC News School Report) provides schools with the opportunity to host their own News Day in which students write news articles and interview people for a day.[7] A student-led magazine named DGSChapter is produced by students of Dartford Grammar School who participate in the national scheme.[8] National awards such as the Shine School Media Awards promote youth-led media as students compete for awards in a plethora of categories.

There are currently youth-led media programs and organizations around the world, including Central and South America,[9] Africa, Europe, and Australia.[10][11]

See also


  1. ^ Youth Media Info Center Archived September 7, 2005, at the Wayback Machine, Freechild Project. Retrieved 11/2/08.
  2. ^ Caudhurī, A. (2003) Media in Times of Crisis: National and International Issues. Shraban Prokashoni.
  3. ^ UNICEF. (2005) Voices of Hope: Adolescents and the Tsunami. United Nations Publications.
  4. ^ Coryat, D. (n.d.) "Challenging the silences and omissions of dominant media: Youth-led media collectives in Colombia," Youth Media Reporter. Retrieved 11/2/08.
  5. ^ "The Global Youth Review". The Global Youth Review. 2020-09-20. Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  6. ^ "Community Reporting". American Libraries Magazine. 2016-05-31. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  7. ^ "Highlights: BBC School Report News Day 2018". BBC Academy. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  8. ^ Ricky, Post Author; Editor-in-chief (2018-03-15). "Our Team 2017-2018". DGSChapter. Retrieved 2018-12-30. ((cite web)): |first= has generic name (help)
  9. ^ White, T. (2007) "Amigos de las Américas: Incorporating media in youth-oriented Latin American volunteer projects", Youth Media Reporter.
  10. ^ Kinkade, S. and Macy, C. (2003) What Works in Youth Media: Case Studies from Around the World Archived February 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. International Youth Foundation.
  11. ^ McDonnell, I., Solignac Lecomte, H-B., and Wegimont, L. (2003) Public Opinion and the Fight Against Poverty. Development Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.