The Jackson Free Press is thrilled to host the second summer of a joint youth media effort that, last year, resulted in a special issue of the JFP and a "media literacy" report on how Jackson print media covered youth. This summer, some of the same teens are back, along with lots of new ones from public and private high schools throughout Jackson (most involved in the Civil Rights Civil Liberties Club that started at Jim Hill), to create the Youth Media Project. This time, they are not examining the media; they are being the media! This is a really exciting process to watch, as we try to get the project off the ground.
The groups helping the teens has exanded this year; last year it was the JFP and the William Institute for Racial Reconciliation. This year the Mississippi Youth Justice Project has joined the effort, providing us a camera and a talented intern (and Murrah grad), Treshika Melvin. And teachers and journalists who are helping start the Jackson Area High School Press Association (JAHSPA) are helping mentor the teens. And one more group is starting to prove invaluable: the summer 2009 summer intern class at the JFP. These interns, mostly college age, are working with the teens to help produce video and written pieces about young people in neighborhoods throughout Jackson. It's truly a group effort.
We also have other volunteers, such as fillmmaker Jef Judin, who is helping the teens learn how to produce, shoot and edit video. And special thanks goes to the landlord of our building for loaning us some space for the project teens to work in. And we got two computers donated from a plea we Twittered! (Thanks, Knol and Mark!)
I really can't wait to see where this project goes. And we have every intention of keeping it going beyond the summer. So if you would like to join the effort in some way, either as a student or mentor, or donate supplies, equipment (especially sound equipment!) or even snacks to help our teen reporters, please let us know.
Long live YMP!
Exciting week at the YMP: We are trying to move into editing the footage we have so far -- from around town at events like the Hip-Hop festival at Tougaloo and Jubilee! JAM downtown, to one YMP team's coverage of young people invited in the hot-air balloon event last weekend. Hopefully, we'll have video on the site by sometime next week.
Here's a high-school journalism blog from a program run by a friend of mine at NYU this summer. Check it out.