Podcasting from A to Z with the Youth Reporting Institute

— Written By Elexys Thomas and last updated by
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podcasting processThe #PasstheMicYouth multimedia program and Youth Reporting Insititute both strive to create and maintain a community that focuses on strength, empowerment, and storytelling. While the #PassTheMicYouth program targets youth-led podcasting and blog posts specifically, the Youth Reporting Institute concentrates on journalism more broadly.

The #PasstheMicYouth program stresses the importance of young people being encouraged and prepared to make meaningful contributions to society. Storytelling can play a great role in helping youth not only see that their opinions are valued, but also recognize just how substantial the work they are doing is!

A few months ago, we worked alongside the Youth Reporting Institute to put together a podcasting training event for any youth involved (or hoping to be involved) in the podcasting landscape. Essentially, both programs wanted to continue working as a resource that reinforces the importance of youth-centered communities. Moreover, we wanted the training to inspire and uplift youth podcasters while also providing any technical, production, and storytelling tips/training needed. In doing so, both organizations were able to meet some amazing youth podcasters, learn about where they stand in their podcasting journeys, and gain some knowledge on how our programs can continue aiding the process.

While we are hopeful that this overview addressed the impact both small- and large-scale programs or events can have for youth populations, we have some additional insight for you to consider. The #PasstheMicYouth team reached out to Charlie, a podcast producer for WUNC public radio, to hear his thoughts on the need for amplifying youth voices today. We asked Charlie about his perspective on the benefits of podcasting, and he presented an amazing point:

“This fluid landscape is perfect to pair with the burgeoning creativity of younger folks. They are in a unique position to ‘guide the ship’ in where podcasting goes next…”

He also underlined how the podcasting landscape has improved social connections and credited the Youth Reporting Institute at WUNC as an excellent program that helps initiate these connections amongst young people. We also thought Charlie’s experience partnering with #PasstheMicYouth and time spent in multi-media production made him a great candidate to shed some light on how youth workers can further support young people engaging in the podcasting landscape. Charlie said:

“While there is lots of free softwares available to record and edit podcasts, it always helps to have the best equipment and software available…”

Essentially, he encourages other youth-serving organizations and professionals to continue finding resources or creating innovative programs that provide younger individuals with such materials, if possible.

teamwork quote

Encouraging youth to value and feel comfortable with self-expression has become more relevant than ever. We hope that learning more about what this podcast training offered youth alongside the importance of amplifying their voices has encouraged readers to participate in the movement, in one way or another.

Take a look at the Questions for Extended Dialogue below to begin conversations about youth empowerment in your community!

Questions for Extended Dialogue

  1. How do you think youth involved in the podcasting landscape have benefited developmentally and emotionally in recent years?
  2.  Do you know of any other youth-serving organizations that could play a role in amplifying youth’s voices in the podcasting realm? If so, who are they?
  3. Have you ever thought about starting a podcast? If so, what resources and support would you need?