By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Young people and the news

I’m putting this out to my ever-helpful readers: Do you know of any worthwhile efforts on the part of news organizations, either mainstream or alternative, to get young people engaged with the news? I’m talking about hard news and public-service journalism. Any and all leads and suggestions will be appreciated it.

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  1. Rick Burnes

    9 Neighbors, our new Facebook application falls into that category:'s just a proof of concept right now (and really only working well for Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline & Newton). The idea, though, is clear: to make it easier for Facebook users (young people) to keep up with their community.

  2. Aaron Read

    Vocalo, the “youtube for the radio” by Chicago Public Radio, could be said to be doing this.YouthRadio is probably a more concrete example, though.That’s what immediately comes to mind, I’m pretty sure there are other efforts within the public radio world.

  3. BosPhotog

    Off topic just a bit…I have wondered for many years why some of the corporations that own newpapers and/or the newspaper guild or the ADcouncil don’t help fund national TV/internet commercials that are geared toward kids and or families. They could have a 30 second public service spot where there might be a grandfather reading to his grandkid with the ending wording maybe to the effect of “Newspapers, a timeless journey”…you get my drift 🙂

  4. O-FISH-L

    DanCongrats on the mountain climbing accomplishment. Well done!This may be a slight stretch from the info you’re looking for, but the Boston Herald has the the “Boston Herald in Education” program. As part of that, free newspapers are made available to participating classrooms. See:'ve also noticed that during the school year the Herald runs serials for young people. Although I’ve rarely looked at that page, it seems to be geared toward using the newspaper as a learning tool in school and as a result, exposing young people to the paper.For what it’s worth, 20 years ago my HS library always had the daily Herald and Globe available and the papers were amongst the most popular selections during study hall. My guess is that many of those who picked up the newspaper habit in HS still read a paper or two each day.

  5. Spikey Em

    The New England chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists throws a huge Halloween bash every year called Bloodfeast. Bosphotog — you should check out our promo video and poster for this year’s Bloodfeast party. (They’re nothing like the PSA you described, but they carry the same message! :)The purpose of our Bloodfeast party (and the main reason behind the gory name) is: 1.) to raise awareness about Red Cross blood drives 2.) raise awareness about media issues and SPJ 3.) raise $$ for the New England SPJ chapter scholarship fund This year will be our 4th annual Bloodfeast bash. It’s been getting bigger and bigger every year. The event is 21+, and attracts a diverse crowd of all ages… but the majority are young twenty-somethings.Our SPJ chapter has also launched a MySpace group for Boston media folks:'s just another way that we communicate with each another and also reach out to the next generation of journalists and media-makers. —Emily SweeneyNew England SPJ

  6. Peter Porcupine

    I held off, assuming you’d get dozens of answers, but here goes.My local paper, the Cape Cod Times, has an editorial board of young high school writers. Every two-three months, a single topic drawn from a variety of issues will be written about by approx. 8 of them. This has been going on now for at least five years, maybe longer.They also used to have 3 blogs on the web site written by teens – one by an Anthony Marvullo was especially good – but I haven’t seen them since the web page overhaul.Is this exceptional? I thought it was routine…

  7. BJ Roche

    Hey Dan:I recommend the NY Times Learning Network,which has lots of great material. My students like the daily news quiz, which gets them up to speed on the day’s events and links to stories in that day’s paper. BJ Roche

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