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Pittsburgh Youth Media reports on summer learning fun

Kate Pendlebury
September10/ 2015

This summer, young Pittsburghers have been very busy–filming Spanish language telenovelas, transforming old T-shirts into new bags, building robots and much more. And the flurry of rewarding activity has all been documented by the 2015 cohort of motivated young reporters at Pittsburgh Youth Media (PYM).

A project of the Saturday Light Brigade, PYM is supported by a coalition of organizations whose goal is to produce young journalists who are adept in the use of a range of media technologies and contribute to contemporary discussions thoughtfully.

Each year, PYM covers a different program or event. For this year’s project, Youth Media reporters interviewed participants in Pittsburgh’s City of Learning programs: a diverse assortment of camps, classes, workshops and internships conducted by local organizations to broaden young Pittsburghers’ horizons.

“We chose City of Learning this year because not only do the events provide stories for our reporters, but they also give them the opportunity to discover new places and organizations within the city,” says Brenna Carse, one of the administrators of PYM, and herself a former Youth Media reporter.

Youth Media reporters prepared for the summer by attending a media boot camp at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in June. Their training involved interviewing professional reporters working in the gamut of media technologies for different local organizations. The adult journalists continued in their role as mentors throughout the summer, responding to students’ articles, video reports and photographs, and providing extra instruction as needed.

While mentors were always available for consultation, PYM reporters controlled the process of research and production from beginning to end. They selected the City of Learning events that interested them the most, contacted program directors, conducted interviews and documented their findings.

Fox Chapel Area High School 11th grader Emma Paulini is inspired by the opportunity that PYM offered her. “I’ve learned more about journalistic writing by experiencing the process from start to finish,” says Paulini, “attending live events, gathering information, interviewing others, photographing, then piecing it all together into a final story.”

But Paulini and her colleagues have learned more than just journalistic techniques. “It’s been fun discovering the many diverse and exciting events happening in Pittsburgh,” says Paulini. “We have a city full of real live people doing really cool things, and it’s been great sharing this with others and learning about what’s happening myself!”

Text, visual and audio reports by PYM journalists can be found online at pghyouthmedia.com

Featured photo: Pittsburgh Youth Media journalists, Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Youth Media

Kate Pendlebury

A logophile and joker, Kate Pendlebury has a PhD in Children's Literature. She would like to climb trees, but her energetic and gregarious toddler requires that she keep both feet on the ground.