Institutional 2001

Institutional Award: Youth Radio

Berkeley, Calif.

For a decade Youth Radio, based in Berkeley, California has trained thousands of teenagers, the vast majority from low-income homes, in skills related to broadcast journalism, radio and web production, and engineering. Through hands-on training and on-going interaction with adults and peers and in the creation of their own programs, these young people have gained valuable communication, media journalism and production skills. But they have also learned about issues often confronted when one is involved in media advocacy, media criticism, and media literacy campaigns. At Youth Radio training in the practical skills required to succeed in broadcast journalism becomes more than technical training or a tool for expressing youth perspectives. It also enables young people to experience a sense of civic engagement, to develop critical thinking skills, to practice teamwork, to prepare for future work, and to build self-esteem. The teens who work through Youth Radio have addressed the same major topics explored in mainstream media, among them education reform, racialized conflict, identity formation, social violence, and the global economy. They have dealt with topics related specifically to their own age group—prescription drug abuse in schools, standardized testing, and sex-education for pre-teens. And they responded in a sensitive and enlightening manner to events related to September 11, 2001. Executive Producer Ellin O‘Leary is accompanied by an outstanding team of producers: Rebecca Martin, Mia Lobel, Lissa Soep, Mike McKenna, Anita Johnson, Cesar Zepeda, Deverol Ross, Mike Rubio, Jacinda Abcarian, and Beverly Mire. Among the young creators of Youth Radio during the year 2001 were Belia Mayeno-Choy, Thessaly LaForce, Bobby Thompson, Reyna Gillead, Noah Nelson, Ashley Stewart, Tania Garcia, Christina Appleberry, Nzinga Moore, Celeste Owens, Leah Chapple-Stingley, Meena Hartenstein, Anita Gonzalez, Leon Sykes, and Mark Bamuthi. A Peabody Award goes to these young people, to their mentors, and to their colleagues of the last decade for continuing excellence in media training, for media productions and for contributions to community life.