You Call This Youth Radio?

I’ve been talking with members of the Youth Radio web department and production company about where this conversation belongs. Should it live alongside the youth-produced content in the Youth Radio Flows section of our website? That placement is a little weird, because the whole point of Youth Radio and other youth media groups is to showcase young people’s perspectives, not offer a platform for yet another adult writing about youth culture.

The other option would be to put Drop That Knowledge in the Teach Youth Radio section of the website. That’s where we house materials designed to encourage educators, organizers, artists, producers etc. to integrate youth-produced content into their own projects. But that placement is a little weird, too. Why should this conversation get its own special position, isolated from youth colleagues on Youth Radio Flows?

In the end, for now at least, we decided to publish Drop that Knowledge in both places.

But the whole question of where to put an adult’s thoughts about youth media on a website devoted to young people’s own thoughts about themselves and the world reveals a larger tension underlying youth media practice: where, if anywhere, do adults belong? The Spotlight blog has recently taken up the question, and we talk about it at Youth Radio all the time, especially around the never simple editorial process that kicks in when we prepare a story for national broadcast.

At Youth Radio, we practice “collegial pedagogy.” I’ve written about that in a recent article, co-authored with Vivian Chavez. Vivian and I are writing a book (coming soon with UC Press!), with a whole chapter about collegial pedagogy. And I’ll write more about it here.

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