SPNN partners with Youth in Government
For over a decade, SPNN has been helping youth learn how important media is to democracy. Each January, the Twin Cities’ YMCA Youth in Government (YIG) program brings together 1,500 Minnesota youth to hold a model assembly session at the Minneapolis Hilton. For three days, these enthusiastic young people learn about the democratic process through first-hand experience.
While some students act as mock legislators, other students create media products to document what’s happening- a radio station; a newspaper; and a TV station, organized by SPNN Youth programs. Creating a press corps helps all the students participating in YIG understand how important a strong and independent media system is to a healthy democracy.
For two months in advance of the Model Assembly, youth participating in the YIG television station attend trainings at SPNN, learning skills in editing, camera operations, and studio production. The weekend of the Model Assembly, SPNN constructs a temporary studio in a conference room at the hotel. Participants, with the guidance of SPNN Youth instructors, work tirelessly to produce a daily live-to-tape talk show and a news show with edited segments. This year, the youth also chose to create a short segment called “Bedtime with Orville,” featuring the director of YIG reading a bedtime story. Youth also asked other YIG participants to tweet news items using a custom hash tag, helping to create a collaborative news experience.
The finished programs are aired on the hotel’s cable channel, after curfew, as YIG participants are finishing their day. The programs will also be aired soon on SPNN’s Education Channel 16, and will be available on our website.
Many of these youth return year after year to work with YIG and the TV station. SPNN is proud to continue to assist this group of active and engaged young people as they learn these important lessons on democracy.
For more information about the Youth In Government program, please visit their website: http://www.ymcayg.org/ymcayg.html