YR Media

Website review by
Ellen Dendy, Common Sense Media
YR Media Website Poster Image
News and much more from talented, diverse kid journalists.

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Educational Value

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.

Positive Messages

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


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


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


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. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

What 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.

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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?

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. 

Talk to your kids 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

  • Subjects: Language & Reading: presenting to others, speaking, storytelling, writing, writing clearly
    Social Studies: citizenship, cultural understanding, events, global awareness
    Arts: script writing
  • Genre: Civic Engagement
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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