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Drop That Knowledge

Drop That Knowledge: Youth Radio Stories

Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: 1
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Drop That Knowledge
    Book Description:

    This is the first book to take us inside Youth Radio for a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at a unique, Peabody Award-winning organization that produces distinctive content for outlets from National Public Radio to YouTube. Young people come to Youth Radio, headquartered in Oakland, California, from under-resourced public schools and neighborhoods in order to produce media that will transform both their own lives and the world around them.Drop That Knowledgeweaves their compelling personal stories into a fresh framework for understanding the relationship between media, learning, and youth culture at a moment when all three spheres are undergoing dramatic change. The book emphasizes what is innovative and exciting in youth culture and offers concrete strategies for engaging and collaborating with diverse groups of young people on real-world initiatives in a range of settings, online and in real life.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94545-6
    Subjects: Performing Arts

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-ix)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. x-xi)
  5. INTRODUCTION: Unbury the Lede
    (pp. 1-17)

    In 2005 eighteen-year-old Quincy Mosby walked into Youth Radio’s newsroom and announced, “We all have AIDS.” “Okay,” I said. “So what does that mean?” Quincy told me that his mom was HIV-positive and that he wanted to write about how her status was affecting him and his sister. We sat down together at the computer and he started describing the conditions of their lives leading up to his mom’s diagnosis:

    When I was a little kid, I idolized my mom. Friday and Saturday, those were our days. We didn’t have any furniture, but we’d just sit on the floor and...

  6. ONE Converged Literacy
    (pp. 19-47)

    19 It was a classic case of burying the lede, but this time Youth Radio’s Finnegan Hamill hadn’t even written a story—yet. In 1999 Finnegan was a junior at Berkeley High, taking a break from his Youth Radio peer teaching job to focus on academics, his position at the school newspaper, hockey, and church. But he stayed connected to Youth Radio with occasional visits, especially when he had a story idea.

    For almost twenty minutes Finnegan caught up with then Deputy Director Beverly Mire, whose office was the first stop for many students headed into the building on their...

  7. TWO Collegial Pedagogy
    (pp. 49-79)

    In the winter of 2004 National Public Radio contacted Youth Radio with a proposal. Researchers had released findings from a national poll about sex education and abstinence. Show producers preparing reports on the study invited Youth Radio to create a companion story from the perspective of young people. The matter was taken up in the newsroom’s editorial meeting, where young reporters and adult producers gathered for an hour or so to check in and develop new story ideas. Each week a different young person facilitated the meeting, and when adults wanted to comment they raised their hands and requested permission....

  8. THREE Point of Voice
    (pp. 81-101)

    Fuck the News.That was the original title Anyi Howell chose for his commentary condemning the shield law, a provision that protects news gatherers from having to reveal confidential sources or turn over notes and raw tape. It wasn’t theNew York Timesreporter Judith Miller’s case that got Anyi interested in the shield law, but Miller’s story did draw national attention to this otherwise obscure journalistic privilege. While Anyi was working on his story, Miller was locked up for refusing to name her source that broke a CIA operative’s cover. The case blew up because the CIA agent in...

  9. FOUR Drop That Knowledge
    (pp. 103-139)

    It was the second week of the winter 2007 Youth Radio Core class. Sixteen fidgety high school students gathered around the big table at the center of the main room, gigantic backpacks stashed underfoot, chips and salsa strewn across the tabletop. Jason Valerio, the Core class director, called for everyone’s attention. One of the peer teachers started reading through the radio show rundown displayed on a dry-erase board, announcing which students would be deejaying in the first hour, who would recite commentaries, who would read the news. Then Jason’s office phone rang and he ducked out to take the call,...

  10. FIVE Alumni Lives
    (pp. 141-169)

    Alumni livesmeans both the life that happens after Youth Radio and the lives that bring young people into the field of youth media. In many ways, this last chapter could have gone first. In previous chapters we dissected the ins and outs of literacy, pedagogy, and media justice. But just who are the young people who make up Youth Radio? Where do they come from? What attracted them to this particular afterschool media program? What’s their story?

    Six first-person essays from Youth Radio graduates ground our concluding chapter, including one from Vivian. A common theme you’ll see among us...

  11. Epilogue
    (pp. 171-177)

    Lissa Soep has asked me to write about how Youth Radio got started, and also to reflect on aspects of our organization and other youth media groups that hold some keys to the future of journalism and the new “public” media.

    I’ll start at Castlemont High School in Oakland, California, in the early 1990s. I went to this extremely underresourced school as a radio reporter to cover urban violence. At the school I met many amazing young people who didn’t match any of the media stories being told about them. They were doing well academically, trying to get to college,...

  12. APPENDIX Teach Youth Radio
    (pp. 179-204)
  13. Notes
    (pp. 205-210)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 211-218)
  15. Index
    (pp. 219-224)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 225-225)