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 Instagram, Twitter 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.