The Democratic National Convention is taking place in Philadelphia, and five teams of student journalists are covering it for PSTV, the television station operated by the School District of Philadelphia, thanks to a partnership between the school district and WHYY, KYW Newsradio, and the Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement.
Victoria Thornton, a rising senior at WB Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences, said her team’s interviews, which were conducted near City Hall, were centered on two questions: “What does #BlackLivesMatter mean to you?” and “What does ‘all lives matter’ mean to you?”
The Notebook quoted her as saying that the team was also interested in exploring how the media shapes people’s ideas about these issues.
“We were like, ‘well, that’s one thing we can cover because there’s not a lot of understanding,'” she told the Notebook. “And while we were interviewing people, there were a few people that actually never even heard of it, so not only were we getting clarification on it, but we were giving clarification to other people also.”
“The Host Committee is committed to having a lasting impact on the Philadelphia community, and providing programs that support the growth and development of our local youth is an important component of that commitment,” said former Pennsylvania governor and Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee Chair Ed Rendell. “These programs will provide Philadelphia young people with new skills, knowledge and experiences from the Convention that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. I hope the participants enjoy the projects they are involved in, and I look forward to seeing the great work that comes out of these programs.”
“We make Philadelphia a stronger city when we provide opportunities for young people to develop real skills and knowledge that will help them develop their careers and be active members of their communities,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “These youth engagement programs orchestrated by the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee provide the young residents of our city with a unique opportunity to both get involved during the Convention and take on a leadership role within their community.”
Youth News Team
The Youth News Team is a collaborative project that offers 25 Philadelphia high school and middle school students interested in journalism an opportunity to cover the Democratic National Convention. In addition to the program’s core partners, the YNT is also working with local media partners, who serve as mentors and may publish the students’ original content.
For the high school program, four groups of five students each (20 students total) are participating in a two-week program. It includes a journalism boot camp to learn media and journalism skills and then, during the convention, actual coverage of convention activities, with the help of trained teachers and participating journalists. The students are producing their own stories, getting hands-on journalism training, and learning about media production and convention politics.
For the middle school program, five middle school students, from different Philadelphia middle schools, are learning how to create media stories in written, audio, and video form about their experiences and producing a narrative that can be shared by local outlets.
Students in both the middle and high school programs represent a variety of schools across Philadelphia, including
- Girard Academic Music Program
- William Meredith Elementary School
- JR Masterman Middle School
- McCall Elem & Middle School
- Philadelphia High School for Girls
- Franklin Learning Center
- Scribe Video Center
- Saul High School
Students’ original news stories covering convention-related activities, various caucus meetings, and events will be published and promoted on PSTV, WHYY, KYW, PhillyMag.com, Metro, and NBCPhiladelphia.com. The Democratic National Convention continues through tomorrow.
- Follow-up story on The Notebook (July 28)