Youth Radio

 

Learning(i)

News and much more from talented, diverse kid journalists.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The site sends the message that teens' perspectives and voices matter. It also discusses journalists' responsibility to accurately portray events.

Violence

Some of the news concerns violence happening in the world, like torture, shootings, or war.

Sex

A recent story about polyamory reported on people who choose more than one partner.

Language

Some of the segments feature music; there's no mention that the music played is age-appropriate, but, considering the organization and its priorities, it seems safe to assume that the lyrics are tween- and teen-friendly. 

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A recent article about the legalization of marijuana sparked lots of reader discussion about the merits of legalizing.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this site provides an excellent model for kids who are interested in journalism and new media. It features articles and editorials written by Youth Radio students and contributors and includes links to similar content from other kid-produced radio outlets. Articles cover a wide range of issues, similar to national news media outlets: politics, racism, health care, gay rights, war, genocide, and even celebrity scandals.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • speaking
  • storytelling
  • writing
  • writing clearly
  • presenting to others

Social Studies

  • citizenship
  • cultural understanding
  • events
  • global awareness

Arts

  • script writing

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

A lot of this kid-created content is riveting, and teens will love hearing their peers' perspectives on major news issues. Design is modern and fresh, although some content could be reorganized to make navigation more intuitive.

Learning Approach

By watching and listening to media created by kids, other kids may feel empowered to share their own stories. This confidence can transfer to the future, encouraging kids to think, "If these voices are valued, mine can be, too."

Support

Though the site doesn't offer much in the way of help, it is fairly self-explanatory. Youth Radio is active on social media channels and offers classes to kids local to the Bay Area.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • speaking
  • storytelling
  • writing
  • writing clearly
  • presenting to others

Social Studies

  • citizenship
  • cultural understanding
  • events
  • global awareness

Arts

  • script writing

Kids can learn about current and pressing issues that affect teen life around the U.S. and the world. As they browse the site, they'll learn about media production, podcasting, and what's involved in creating a weekly radio program. Kids also can learn that there are many different viewpoints when it comes to the big issues and that each person's experience deserves to be shared. Youth Radio invites kids to learn alongside a diverse group of young voices who are navigating the world's big and small issues.

This Learning Rating review was written by Polly Conway

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What's it about?

YOUTH RADIO is part of a nonprofit that gives kids hands-on training in all aspects of new media and journalism, allowing them to have a voice in the national dialogue. It's also a great resource for kids interested in media careers. Kids can access articles and videos written and created by young journalists in training (which also often air on NPR stations). Visit the Newsroom for news on education, science, technology, and other newsworthy topics. In the Classroom section of the site, tune in to a Raw Show, which features music and short kid-created media. The Creative Studio contains features like Remix Your Life, where kids create performances based on their lives. On Our Radar Desk features curated content from other youth-media sources.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Articles and videos made by kids and Youth Radio staff are engaging and fresh, like the dispatches from a young protestor caught up in Iran's post-election violence and a 15-year-old's account of his dad being taken away by immigration authorities. Youth Radio is a learning platform that teaches underserved kids in Oakland, Calif., about media production. Their education benefits listeners, who get to learn from the viewpoints and insights they bring to each story. The Arts Lab demonstrates varied forms of expression. Kids may be inspired to share their own stories after seeing the cool kids of Youth Radio share their stories and expose their vulnerabilities. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about other ways to create with digital media.

  • Parents can talk with older kids about considering journalism as a career (or a high school activity) and whether this site makes the profession seem appealing. 

  • Parents can ask kids if this site makes them more interested in current events and what they perceive about how events are reported. What's different about hearing a kid report the news rather than an adult? 

Website details

Genre:Civic Engagement
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Youth Radio was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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