Students join Youth Express to learn about media literacy

Students join Youth Express to learn about media literacy

By Kristina Marusic

Though it was sunny and warm outside, a group of middle and high school students excitedly huddled around microphones in a small, windowless recording studio on Monday afternoon to discuss the future of media with local journalists.

Staff members with Youth Express, a program of the Saturday Light Brigade—one of the longest-running public radio programs in the United States—recorded the students as they discussed where they get their news and what’s missing from the media when it comes to young people.

The group included thirteen 5th to 12th graders from schools from across the Pittsburgh region including Pittsburgh Obama Academy, Avonworth Elementary, Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts school (CAPA), Hampton High School, Manchester Academic Charter School, and Elizabeth Forward Middle School.

“I think the media should cover more stories about how young people of color are struggling, but also how they’re thriving and succeeding in life,” one CAPA senior shared.

The students also cited issues such as a lack of equity in education, police violence and racism, pollution, and climate change as among their top priorities when it comes to local media coverage. Many said they enjoy stories about people making a positive impact in their communities, and that they’d like to see more stories that acknowledge how different the challenges facing young people today are than those faced by older generations.