Capacity for analysis and synthesis No clear-cut definition of the capacity emerged from the consultation but it was evident that the Subject Area Groups SAGs defined analysis and synthesis in a very wide sense.
They can create it and it gets heard. Within Youth Media, there tends to be an important focus on bringing out the voices of those who have been least apt to be heard, typically rural youth, urban youth, at-risk youth, poor youth, youth of color and gay, lesbian and bisexual youth.
However, disturbingly, Renee Hobbs points out, "in American schools, media production is often the province of the non-readers, the low-ability kids for whom media production is the 'last chance' before dropping out.
Career Development Youth Media program concerns about who does media are reflected by the lack of diversity in media professionals. Only about one third of journalists across media are women and about eight percent are minorities Weaver, According to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 42 percent of newspapers have no nonwhite reporters at all Chideya, Youth Media programs with career development goals seek to change this disparity by exposing youth to media and training them in media careers to increase the numbers of underrepresented people in media careers, as does KBC Alaska Native Youth Media Institute AK which seeks to increase the number of Native people in media careers.
More practically, as Youth Radio CA put it, youth involved in media, specifically technology-based media " It's a real opportunity to come out of poverty. Youth development, as defined by the National Youth Development Information Centeris a process which prepares young people to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood through a coordinated, progressive series of activities and experiences which help them to become socially, morally, emotionally, physically and cognitively competent.
Positive youth development addresses the broader developmental needs of youth, in contrast to deficit-based models which focus solely on youth problems. Youth development's positive nature, its underlying principle to focus "on young people's strengths rather than their failings" National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth,is clearly true for the Youth Media programs included in this paper as well.
Similarly, West's classic four ingredients necessary for the positive development of youth - a sense of competence, a sense of usefulness, a sense of belonging and a sense of power - seem to undergird the goals and activities of Youth Media programs.
Programs focusing on youth development, such as Rise and Shine NYYouth Radio CA and DCTV NYexpect Youth Media to improve the lives of their participants by increasing their confidence and self-esteem, helping youth become "better at assessing their own growth and development," "to be empowered, to realize their own creative talent and opportunity," and to "lead thoughtful and productive lives.
We've identified as a youth development organization first. Media Literacy An exploration of Youth Media program goals and content also finds a strong relationship to media literacy.
Media literacy has many definitions, including this one from the Center for Media Literacy: It's the ability to choose and select, the ability to challenge and question, the ability to be conscious about what's going on around you and not be passive and therefore, vulnerable Thoman, ND.
Some Youth Media programs feel that understanding media and its impact is necessary to create effective media, therefore making media literacy an important component of Youth Media.
Youth Media programs with media literacy goals, like Street Level Youth Media ILguide participants in understanding "how youth have been misrepresented" in mass media, or like Rise and Shine NYin examining "both the similarity and disparity between their own views and the views that various media convey.
While media literacy is a component of some Youth Media programs, some media literacy experts see Youth Media- or at least "providing students with the ability to create media products"- as one goal of media literacy Ontario Ministry of Education as cited in Media Literacy Online Project, ND.
Whether media literacy programs need to include the development and production of media is one of Renee Hobbs' "Seven Great Debates in the Media Literacy Movement" When Hobbs encourages people to vote to include the development and production of media in media literacy, she focuses on the value, of the process telling people to: Vote yes [that media literacy programs should include Youth Media] According to this view, media literacy is incomplete unless students get a lot of experience 'writing' as well as 'reading.
It does appear that Youth Media can be a tool for media literacy programs just as media literacy can be a tool for Youth Media programs. Academic Enhancement Whether in or out of school, there is a strong academic component to many Youth Media programs.
For some out-of-school programs an academic focus is needed, particularly in reading and writing, to "[make] up for what the schools don't teach" as Youth Radio CA has found.
Often, this academic focus is necessary to even make the Youth Media program possible. For example, DCTV NY added an academic component when they discovered that students with whom they were working were "functionally illiterate. Schools often get involved with the PACERS Community Newspaper Project AL because they can't get their students to write and have found that writing for the community newspaper suddenly raises the "relevance of writing" for students when their work is "put in front of not only their family, but their friends, their pastor, the guy who owns the grocery store down the road, everyone they know.
The audience, in turn, affirms the work is important, needed and worth doing. Youth Media as Tool or as Field In spite of all the diversity within Youth Media programs, the programs themselves and their goals seem to fall into two broad categories.
In one, Youth Media is a tool to be used by those involved in youth development, media literacy, career development or other areas to reach program goals. In these examples, Youth Media is not an end, but rather one of several means to an end.
Here, Youth Media may be used as a recruitment tool, a retention tool or as a tool to reach longer term goals such as increased self esteem, increased academic skills or better skills in working with groups. Youth Media may be a more or less effective in helping these programs reach their goals, but it is one of many possible choices.
It would appear that in these cases, programs would not be funded as Youth Media programs, but rather as youth development, media literacy or career development programs.
The second category for Youth Media programs is quite different.
It applies to programs and goals where the focus is specifically on Youth Media, on getting youth voice out and on using that voice to impact audiences and the media in general.The trajectory of a life can be altered by great and small events.
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