Teaming up with schools and local papers

Room of Solutions discussions

In April’s Forum Talk we addressed the question: How to engage young people as users of local news media and as active citizens in their own hometowns?

Media consultant, author and journalist Gerd Maria May from Denmark told us about her approach where she has teamed up with high schools and local news outlets to invite young people along. You can watch the video of her 20-minute talk here. On the same You Tube channel you can find all of the previous Talks.

Gerd Maria May’s model “RYK din Verden” (in English: “Move your world”) happens in Danish language classes as a form of media education. The students choose a topic they wish to address and with the teacher they do research on the topic. Gerd herself has taught (live or on video) the students about the principles of constructive journalism in which she emphasizes solution-orientation.

In addition, journalists from the local newspaper act as teachers to help in producing articles, videos or podcasts, of which the best are also published in the news outlet or elsewhere. The final step in the process is a “town hall meeting” where actual solutions are searched for and suggested. Gerd told us for example about a project on loneliness that resulted in a massive online friendship speed dating event or about a project on youth clubs where the students ended up painting their local youth house.

The model inspired the participants of the Talk to brainstorm similar approaches in their own countries. It was regarded that the solution aspect seems important in the actual aim to engage the young; it feels motivating to be able to have an impact.

The following Forum Talk takes place on May 20th with Luis Lineo. He will tell us about Fanzingo, a participatory media house in Stockholm.