The recent surge of online social action shows that Gen Y is indeed changing the world
through citizen journalism. Theories about “activism lite”
be damned, their nimble use of social media
is igniting mass movements. With these young digital rebels’ unorthodox approach to the news in mind, a number of new targeted media outlets are altering the face of journalism.
High School Newspaper
: Michael Moore
was so impressed
by Wisconsin students’ protests
against Senate Bill 11 that he launched High School Newspaper, a collaborative hub of teen journalism. The tagline, ‘Take Action: Tell us What You
Think,’ encourages students to contribute to a ‘Topic of the Week’
or the more reactionary ‘What’s Up With This?’
. He promises no censorship and, in typical Moorean style, strives to publish articles that were first denied by official school newspapers. Of course, it wouldn’t be a real high school paper without someone still young enough to attend prom helming it. In this case, it’s Moore’s 17-year-old niece, Molly
, who is serving as editor.
One Minute News
: Former MTV exec Doug Greenlaw
is perhaps more attuned to the desires of Gen Y than are most media professionals. Along with his son Mack (also a former MTV staffer), Greenlaw recently founded One Minute News, a video-based, online news start-up
targeting ADD-inclined Gen Ys. Visitors to the minimalist site can choose their topic of interest (everything from international affairs to entertainment), click on their video of choice, and be informed of a current event or issue in less than one minute. In true Gen Y form, the news outlet’s roster
of reporters, which includes Current TV alum Yasmin Vossoughian, is as multicultural as it is young.
CNN iReport Open Stories
: Having launched iReport
nearly five years ago, CNN is well-versed in the importance of citizen journalism. Its latest approach, Open Stories, puts that increasingly important user-generated content on equal footing with its regular reporting by marrying the content in one section. Created in partnership with digital agency The Barbarian Group
, Open Stories debuted at last month’s SXSWi
. The hope is that, by combining both professional and amateur forms of journalism into a single portal, Open Stories will encourage more man-on-the-street reporters to post videos, photos and commentary. Its current report on the tragedy in Japan
is a strong example of how the collaborative nature of Gen Y can be leveraged to deliver more expansive news coverage.