Youth Radio Institute

Youth Radio Reporters at the annual Summer Youth Reporting Institute pitch, report, write and produce radio news stories on assignment for possible broadcast on North Carolina Public Radio-WUNC.  These young people  tell stories about their community in their own voice.  The Summer Youth Reporting Institute is located at the WUNC Studios at American Tobacco in downtown Durham.

Charlie Shelton / WUNC

This week, six teenage reporters grabbed a microphone and went out into Durham to find a story. They encountered enthusiastic interviewees and some not-so-enthusiastic near a Durham bus stop on a hot summer’s day.

Lili Morales is a senior at Northern High School in Durham, N.C. As a part of WUNC's Youth Radio Project, she reports on the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.  Young people who entered the country illegally with their parents are eligible for the program if they are in school -- but they have to renew every two years.  It's a stressful process for some.

Emmanuel Johnson worked as a teen reporter during the summer of 2014 at WUNC.
Carol Jackson

Emmanuel Johnson is a senior at Riverside High School in Durham. As a part of WUNC's Youth Radio Project, he reports on a changing neighborhood in his hometown.

I've lived in Durham, NC my whole life and I always walk past this park on the corner of Oakwood Avenue and Holloway Street. It's downtown, near the public library.

Morgan Manson and the other youth reporters were based at the American Tobacco campus all summer.
Carol Jackson

Teens in North Carolina are using the term "thirsty" these days, and they don't mean that they need a drink. The term refers to a specific behavior - one that occurs in social media, or in person. Teen reporter Morgan Manson explains:

Thar Thwai at work on his radio story in the WUNC studios.
Carol Jackson

About a thousand refugees resettle in North Carolina each year, and one third of them are from Burma and Thailand.  The Triangle is home to four of the nation's 10 refugee and immigrant resettlement organizations.  There are two in Durham, and two in Raleigh.

Resettlement agencies distribute State Department grants, a one-time payment of $925 per refugee.  For the first 90 days, the State Department provides housing and language assistance. But 90 days isn't a very long time when you are coming from a refugee camp. 

Youth Radio: How NC Teens Text 4 Free

Aug 25, 2014
Jamayah Parrish conducting an interview outside the WUNC Studios in Durham
Carol Jackson

Jamayah Parrish is a rising senior at Northern High School in Durham.  As a part of WUNC's Youth Radio Project, she reports on teens who have found a way to call and text for free over Wi-Fi.

Youth Radio: Dads In Prison

Aug 18, 2014
Aysia Evans and her father

The following is from WUNC's Youth Radio project reporter Chelsea Korynta.

When I was 15, my father was sentenced to three months in prison. I was one of the 2.7 million Americans under 18 with a parent who’s incarcerated. In 2013, Sesame Street even created a series of videos starring a Muppet named “Alex,” whose dad is in jail.

Lili Morales, Teen Journalist and rising senior at Northern High School

As in summers past, WUNC staff members are mentoring six teenage reporters. The young people come from  three different counties, and get to see the inner workings of a public radio member station for several weeks while developing their own stories. Seasoned reporters are teaching them the tricks of the trade.

At the end of their first week on the job, we asked the students to submit a 'selfie' and tell us one thing that surprised them about the station.

"I am surprised that a radio station is so quiet and big," Lili Morales said.

Teen Reporters: 8 Essential Summer Jams

Jun 26, 2014
earbuds and a heart
Olivia Alcock / Flickr/Creative Commons

WUNC is working with several teen reporters this summer. The young people are learning Journalism 101 from seasoned NPR and WUNC reporters.

On their first day on the job, we asked each reporter to recommend a song. The idea is to pull together a fun 2014 summer playlist for you.

Here are the recommendations.

Jamayah Parrish: "Pumped up Kicks" by Foster the People:

(l-r) Emmanuel Johnson, Thar Thwai, Chelsea Korynta, Jamayah Parrish, Morgan Manson, Lilli Morales
Carol Jackson

Where do you find those stories? That is one of the most-asked question of a radio reporter. Six young people will find out the answer this summer in WUNC's 3rd annual Summer Youth Radio Institute. The Institute kicked off Monday June 23 with an ambitious goal: teach the teens to find stories in their communities and give them the tools to tell those stories on the radio.

More than 50 young people applied to be a part of the experience. The rookie reporters hired for the six positions come from Orange, Durham and Chatham counties.