Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide

by Youth Journalism International
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide
Give a voice to 200+ student journalists worldwide

To give students an even better platform for their work – and to give you a better experience as a reader – YJI took the plunge and invested in a new website. The American website design company Cornershop Creative worked quickly this fall to move all the stories, photos and videos from YJI’s outdated website and blog to the new site: youthjournalism.org.

The change gave YJI a fresh look online – for desktop, tablet and mobile. From now on, this website will showcase all student work and keep you up to date on news about YJI, its annual Excellence in Journalism contest and much more.

Included in the move will be all the material published on the organization’s earliest website, The Tattoo teen newspaper. There’s great work from those years, so expect to see some of it popping up in the “Featured” section on the new website, which displays links to stellar work from across the years.

Among other improvements, each student will have an “author” page with links to all their work. The process of updating is still going on, but there’s plenty to see right now, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, please do, and let us know what you think. We hope you’ll love it.

Thank you for making it possible.


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YJI students at Acadia National Park
YJI students at Acadia National Park

One of our greatest joys at Youth Journalism International is when the students we come to know online from all across the globe find their way to our door here in the United States. It happens more often than we ever imagined.

During one busy week this summer, we had three students together in Maine -- one from the U.S., one from Scotland and one from Ethiopia. When that happens, they can't help but learn from each other. It's always great.

Here is one of the stories that they wrote together after spending a day at Maine's amazing Acadia National Park. Or take a look at another where two of them went to interview immigrant teens at a youth center in Lewiston, Maine. There's nothing like working together to build lasting bonds.

Of course, we're also busy with lots of other students, with stories from Poland to Perth. Still, when four of them can meet in person and spend a day finding stories -- and fun -- at the nation's oldest amusement park in Connecticut, well, that's what we're here for.

Thank you for making it all possible. Your donations make it possible for students on every continent, some of whom are poor in everything but spirit, to tell their stories to the world. You hand them a megaphone to amplify their voices far, far beyond their villages, towns, cities and lands so that everyone, everywhere has the chance to learn what we know so well here at Youth Journalism International: that the future of the world is in good hands, if we can just make sure they get the opportunity.

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In a year when journalists have been hailed and harassed with equal fervor, Youth Journalism International can safely assure everyone there’s a great new generation of reporters ready to take the field.

This year’s contest for teen journalists, now in its eighth year, attracted astonishing work from hundreds of students around the globe. Those earning awards represent nine countries on five continents as well as 20 U.S. states.

The top winners include a young man from The Gambia writing about his country’s stunning democratic revolution, a gay teen coming out in Tennessee and a teacher who’s been fighting censorship for almost half a century.

The contest provides “a deep look at some of the best work done by teens across the world. Many are doing stirring, important journalism that’s too often overlooked by harried professionals who would fear less for the future of news if they paid more attention to this extraordinary rising generation,” said Steve Collins, board president and co-founder of Youth Journalism International.

Our judges picked Althea Gevero as the 2017 Student Journalist of the Year for her talent as co-editor of a Las Vegas school paper.

Konnie Krislock, an advisor to the student paper at a California high school, emerged from an impossibly gifted field to claim this year’s Journalism Educator of the Year award.

Others honored with engraved crystal trophies were Lama Jallow from The Gambia, who won the Frank Keegan “Take No Prisoners” Award for News; Jeevan Ravindran from the United Kingdom, who claimed the Jacinta Marie Bunnell Award for Commentary; and Oliva Wright from Tennessee, the Courage in Journalism Award recipient.

“It is always hard to choose the top winners,” said Lynn Abrahamson, a YJI board member from Maryland who has served as a contest judge since 2011.

“I was very pleased with the variety of entries, ranging from political and social commentary to travel and hometown pieces,” said Dr. Mariechen Puchert, a YJI alum of Cape Town, South Africa, one of two dozen judges.

Jackie Majerus, executive director of YJI, said, “Our thoughtful, dedicated judges, with their insightful comments about many of the winning entries, make this a valuable contest for young writers, photographers and artists.”

The non-profit Youth Journalism International has been educating the next generation of news professionals and talented teens since 1994. Formally incorporated in 2007, it is a 501(c)(3) educational public charity. Its website can be found at youthjournalism.org.

The contest covered work published in English between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2016 for non-professional student journalists aged 19 and under.

For more information, please contact Jackie Majerus, Youth Journalism International’s executive director, at (860) 655-8188 or write to yjieditor@gmail.com. For a complete list of winners, see our website.

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YJI students in Toronto
YJI students in Toronto

At a time when presidents and pundits sometimes call news gatherers "the enemy" or "the opposition party," it's never been more important to nurture the next generation of reporters, editors, photographers and other journalists. It's crucial that young people have both the media literacy and savvy to know the profession they're eyeing isn't about political gamesmanship. It's about finding the truth and trying to make sense of a world that sometimes seems more than a little crazy.

It's a hard job for even the most experienced reporters and editors so imagine what it's like for an idealistic teenager in Nashville or Nepal or any of the places big and small all across the globe where our students live. They're watching wide-eyed at the disruption and chaos that has thrown the world's media into a new and difficult place. It's saying something when young people in Iran or Syria or Uganda are worried about what's happening in the United States. But here's the thing: we just plunge on. We are committed to teaching what journalists need to know and to nurturing the best instincts of those who may join the journalistic ranks someday or just become educated, interested citizens who will have a firm foundation about what the media is all about. We can all see these days that it would help if more of us had that kind of background.

You can read the work our students are doing day in and day out on our blog and on our website. You can also follow them on InstagramTwitter and Facebook

And if you want to know what it's like for our students, take a look at the reviews they've written on GreatNonProfits.com, a ratings site that has listed Youth Journalism International as a top charity since 2010.

None of this would be possible without the help of generous supporters who have helped us immeasurably during the 23 years that YJI has been operating. We're a tiny nonprofit that relies on thousands of volunteer hours to make sure our students get one-on-one attention. Nobody here gets paid. It's always been a labor of love that has brought all of us joy. We know, after all, that these delightful, wonderful young people are not enemies. They are, rather, the future. 

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A group of YJI students in Edinburgh recently.
A group of YJI students in Edinburgh recently.

This is a difficult time for journalists old and young. It’s an especially challenging moment for Youth Journalism International in its quest to empower young writers and photographers to stand up for the principles and values of a profession that’s under fire. They notice when leaders call journalists “scum” and smear individual reporters for doing their job. They see that far too many of the people they respect and love are ready to believe quacks who make up news stories rather than accept the truth that professional journalists work hard to uncover. They know that they’re eyeing a career in a field that is struggling everywhere.

And yet there is still something noble about the mission “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” that has driven the best journalists for generations. That idealism can still move people. And the work it produces can still make a difference. So we soldier on, teaching and empowering young people in scores of countries to develop their skills and tell their stories. They learn in the process that their voice matters, that every person, everywhere, has something to say that’s worthwhile. As one of our students, a young woman in Pakistan, put it, “YJI made me realize that I am not made for nothing. Today I know that I AM something.”

We appreciate your willingness to help Youth Journalism International with its crucial work.

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Organization Information

Youth Journalism International

Location: Auburn, ME - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Steve Collins
West Hartford, CT United States
$7,513 raised of $40,000 goal
 
111 donations
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