Youth Outloud! is a youth media cooperative created to be a valuable
resource for the mainstream media to access and share real news and
stories about youth for use in their media outlets. Youth are actively
involved in their communities and the media needs to reflect this
involvement. Youth Outloud! provides stories for every section of the
newspaper and is the primary source of all topics of interest to youth
Media organizations join as members,
which allow them to submit and secure stories on a variety of topics
from the co-op. This exchange is designed to provide the best stories
available worldwide from youth, including breaking news, topical
features and global perspectives on issues and events. In addition, the
members are part of a revenue sharing program that is designed to
further support the development and expansion of youth media worldwide.
A network of youth, media and organizations that share stories by youth for distribution in the mainstream media.
media co-op whereby members exchange stories by youth for use in media
outlets and submit stories which are purchased by other members in a
revenue sharing program.
Youth Outloud! launched worldwide on January 2006.
Youth Outloud! will appears in media outlets worldwide.
the past 10+ years, mainstream media has seen its audience move away
from youth involvement. Research has been conducted worldwide, and the
resulting consensus is that the media needs to be relevant and
inclusive of youth voices in a variety of topics.
Initially, membership is FREE to everyone as we build our network. Ultimately, members will
join the co-op for $500 annually, and pay a one-time set-up fee of $50.
Grants will be offered to members who cannot afford to pay. The annual fee will provide them a license to use 10 stories from the
co-op (10 stories X $50 = $500) and the ability to place their own
story in the co-op. All stories placed in the co-op are licensed to the
co-op (see licensing agreement) and the owner of the story is paid 25%
of the revenues received from the other members of the co-op who want
to run the story.
This business model
encourages excellence and relevance in journalism. All Youth Outloud!
co-op members are encouraged to submit the best available stories,
those with breaking news content for use by the other members. In
addition, the members who translate their stories in several languages
also have a higher likelihood of placing their stories with a variety
of media outlets.
Frequently asked questions:
Why do members have to pay to be involved in the co-op?
Grants will be offered to those members who cannot afford to pay. The
membership fee is actually “payment in advance” for stories, and those
stories are discounted for the first 10 secured by the members. All
organizations need to have working capital in order to operate. They also
need committed customers and a methodology to maintain loyalty and
excellence among those customers. By paying an annual membership, Youth
Outloud! is assured of its sustainability.
After the member uses their first 10 stories, how much are the subsequent stories?
All stories are $75 after the first 10 are purchased for $50 each (the $500 annual membership fee). Again, grants are available for members who cannot afford to pay.
We are a media conglomerate, does each media entity need to join the co-op separately?
in order to be fair to all members, each media entity (newspaper,
website, television outlet, etc). needs to join Youth Outloud!
separately. The licensing agreement further outlines this usage
How do members increase the value of their stories, so other members are more likely to buy them?
and foremost, all members mush adhere to the editorial guidelines of
Youth Outloud! These guidelines have been created by the Youth Outloud!
editorial advisory board which includes at least two members from each
continent, half of whom are under 25 years old.
To increase the value of the story to the membership, members should do the following:
- Provide photos to accompany the story
- Provide accurate translations of the story in as many languages as possible.
- Provide details on how the members can fact check the story.
- Provide suggestions on how the members can localize the story for their media outlet.
Who can be a member of Youth Outloud!?
We have five membership categories: Youth Storyteller/Reporter, Media, Newspaper in Education (NIE), In the Field and Scholastic. They are defined as:
- Youth Storyteller/Reporter – (ALWAYS FREE) anyone who is under 25 years old who wishes to submit a story and be part of the Youth OUTLOUD! network.
- Media – those members whose core business is operating a media outlet.
- Newspapers in Education (NIE) – those members who work with NIE programs.
- In the Field – those members whose core business is a non-profit, an NGO or a youth-serving entity.
- Scholastic – those members are a school.
Can Teens Save the Newspaper Business?
Can Teens Save the Newspaper Business?
Radio and online journalism have embraced youth media. Print publications need to get with the program.
By: Kendra Hurley
Published: June 1, 2005
Early last year I attended a conference, hosted by the Time Warner Foundation, for adults who help teens produce their own media. One of the writers I'd worked with, 20-year-old Miguel, came with me. He listened intently when a panel of editors and producers from mainstream media outlets mentioned their desire to appeal to a younger audience. It's a hot topic, as newspapers and television news have steadily lost young readers and viewers for the last two decades.
Miguel sensed that he might be part of the solution. His articles for Represent, the magazine by teens in foster care, which I edited, were among the most popular with its young readership. Miguel asked how he might get one of his stories reprinted in a glossy publication. One editor politely explained that magazines like hers do not reprint stories-they want original material-but Miguel was welcome to pitch a story to the magazine directly. If they liked his pitch, Miguel could write it on assignment.
Miguel looked at me with an exasperation I understood. We both knew that his writing an article independently would likely be impossible. Sure, Miguel was one of the star writers at Represent, but he was also one of the trickiest kids I'd worked with. Some of Miguel's stories took him eight months to write, and I spent much of that time coaching him through them. For every 10 minutes Miguel sat at his computer working, he spent 30 doing something he wasn't supposed to-interrupting the other teens at computers, arguing loudly on the phone with the staff at his group home, hopping outside for cigarette breaks. Miguel required constant nagging and attention. My boss often remarked that each teen-written story we developed cost the organization $2,500, when he included staff salaries, overhead, and equipment. By that estimation, I thought Miguel's stories must be twice as expensive. But they were worth it.
His personal narratives gave unusually intimate views of struggling with mental illness, homelessness, and life in the foster care system. He also wrote first-person stories about more topical issues, like struggling with obesity, or bullying, from the perspective of the bully. Some of his stories had been picked up by listservs or other alternative publications, but often it seemed unfortunate that his work didn't find a wider audience in the mainstream media.
I knew why. As the editor at the conference had said, mainstream glossies and most large newspapers rarely reprint stories. They want original work. It makes their publication look better, and it gives them more control over content. But traditional newsrooms are not set up to provide the ongoing support many young writers require. Unless the mainstream press rethinks their reprint policy, or considers collaborating with professionals already working with teens, it's unlikely that a voice like Miguel's will appear in the publications read by most of the country.
The last few months have brought a flurry of articles about print media's losing battle to attract young readers. Now is an opportune time for the mainstream press to explore how the radio industry, online publications, and some innovative local newspapers have already begun adding the youth voice to their usual fare.
While many news outlets are losing young audiences, the newspaper industry is doing so at an especially alarming clip. Less than a fifth of 18-to-34-year-olds rank newspapers as their primary source of news, a recent study by the Carnegie Corporation found, and 12% of the young people surveyed said they "never" read a paper to get news. More significant, the average age of newspaper readers is 53, according to the Los Angeles Times. Studies show that teens aren't uninterested in the world: 44% of young adults surveyed visited a web news portal every day, according to the Carnegie study, and another 44% of online Americans aged 18-29 read blogs often, the Economist reported in April.
Young people who are used to blogging, podcasting, and citizen journalism-where just about everyone is a potential reporter-"don't want to rely on a god-like figure from above to tell them what's important."
Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation, one of the world's largest media companies, suggested to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in April that newspapers have lost young readers in part because they have not sufficiently adapted to reaching them. Teens, twenty-somethings, and even thirty-somethings who are used to blogging, podcasting, and citizen journalism-where just about everyone is a potential reporter-"don't want to rely on a god-like figure from above to tell them what's important," the Economist quoted Murdoch, "and they certainly don't want news presented as gospel." And Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. told the Washington City Paper that research shows teens are "suspicious of adults trying to produce something that is of particular interest to them."
As a Nieman Reports study found last year, readers want to be part of the news dialogue, and young people in particular like attitude and strong beliefs mixed with their news. These qualities-spunk and analysis, news interpreted by a peer instead of an expert-abound in the radio spots, articles, and videos created by teens. And there's some proof that young people really do respond to this type of media. One study indicated that while the traditional newspaper industry steadily loses young readers, youth (as well as ethnic) media was "all the rage in 2004," Journalism.org reported. Circulation of youth and ethnic media papers had risen steadily over the previous four years and was expected to continue growing.
Understanding the appeal and importance of adding a youth voice to its mix, the radio industry has pioneered partnerships with youth media organizations. National Public Radio and its local affiliates regularly run spots produced by young people at organizations like Blunt Radio in Maine, Radio Rookies in New York City, Radio Arte in Chicago, and Youth Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Public Radio Exchange, which lets public and community radio find and air work from other stations, has recently launched Generation PRX, which connects youth-made radio to stations nationwide.
Some online publications and news services have also taken admirable measures to spotlight teen-written material. Alternet houses the youth-written WireTap. Scripps Howard News Service wires stories produced at Children's PressLine, and Pacific News Service posts articles from its many teen-written publications alongside those by adults. Many glossy teen magazines have also produced blogs to get the voices of actual teens on their sites.
But in the print industry, collaborations between youth media and the mainstream press are comparatively rare. (To be fair, dozens of local newspapers have begun producing their own youth-written pages with mixed results. Not surprisingly, the best of these are overseen by adult editors who work full-time on the pages and manage, in person, a teen staff.) But few magazines and few larger newspapers-for which circulation figures have dropped most dramatically-regularly run teen-written stories. Yet, asks Barbara Allen, editor of the Tulsa World's teen-written pages, "what better way to draw in a demographic than to draw in the people you want to reach and let them do the writing themselves?"
The First National EXPO of Ethnic Media on June 9, 2005, at Columbia University in New York City, represents one key opportunity to begin conversations between youth media organizations and mainstream publications. The EXPO's "Media By Young America" segment provides a rare occasion when members of the youth media field come together to share ideas, find commonalities, argue over the nuances of the work, and showcase the kind of media teens can produce. It could be an important opportunity for editors of mainstream print publications to see how other media outlets have benefited from bringing in a youth voice, and how it could help print publications appeal to a young audience.
In his April speech, Rupert Murdoch implied that newspaper editors must find new ways to lure back young readers. No one knows yet what that will entail, but if they come to the EXPO, they may glimpse the future.