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Interview with an International Columnist

by Cornelius Jordan 

Editor’s Note: The video above was filmed by a student in our Eco Youth Reporters program, conducted in conjunction with award-winning journalist Kari Lydersen and Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. The Eco Youth Reporters program is generously funded by theMcCormick Foundation: – See more at: http://wethepeoplemedia.org/#sthash.vMa3tI1H.dpuf

Editor’s Note: The video above was filmed by a student in our advanced J-201 level of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program. The UYIJP is generously funded by theMcCormick Foundation:

Last year, I had the privilege of interviewing Avirama Golan, a columnist for the Haaretz, one of the most important Israeli newspapers. Ms. Golan talked about the time she saw then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama visit an Israeli town that was under attack from rockets. Even back then, she was very impressed with Obama and now he is our president. Click above to see more of our interview.

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ECO Youth Training Session

by Tyreshia Black 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in our Eco Youth Reporters program, conducted in conjunction with award-winning journalist Kari Lydersen and Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. The Eco Youth Reporters program is generously funded by theMcCormick Foundation: – See more at: http://wethepeoplemedia.org/#sthash.fs2zRza6.dpuf
Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in our Eco Youth Reporters program, conducted in conjunction with award-winning journalist Kari Lydersen and Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. The Eco Youth Reporters program is generously funded by theMcCormick Foundation: – See more at: http://wethepeoplemedia.org/#sthash.fs2zRza6.dpuf

Editor’s Note: The video above was filmed by a student in our Eco Youth Reporters program, conducted in conjunction with award-winning journalist Kari Lydersen and Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. The Eco Youth Reporters program is generously funded by theMcCormick Foundation:

This summer, the Eco Youth reporters really built up our writing and reporting skills as we learned about the issues with managing our environment. Click above to peek in on one of our meetings from this July to learn how we did it!

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Chicago Gangs and Violence: Beyond Downtown

by Jaquita Wilson 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in our Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Paul Robeson High School in the Englewood neighborhood. The UYIJP is generously funded by the McCormick Foundation.

It feels to me that Chicago really lived up to its nickname this year, “Chiraq Drillinois.” The question I ask is where and when will a change come? Chicago was named the “Murder Capital of the United States” by Sky News and other international media. Gang shootings across the city have really put fear in Chicagoans and it feels like we are not safe anywhere. It is really sucking the fun and life out of Chicago.

Chicago has always had gangs and violence. In the 1920s, we had Al Capone, who was born in New York and moved to Chicago at the age of 20, according to the web site of the Chicago History Museum. Capone was the leader of the “Chicago Outfit,” also known as “Capones.” He was into smuggling and bootlegging liquor but he is most famous for his role in the 1929 Valentine Day Massacre.

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Teenage Love: Is It Real?

by Trianna Jones 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in our Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Paul Robeson High School in the Englewood neighborhood. The UYIJP is generously funded by the McCormick Foundation.

What is love? Love is merely an abstract ideal of the heart. Love reflects many different emotions such as pain, pleasure, lust, happiness, hate, confusion, confidence and excitement. Quite frankly, I believe it’s a life of false feelings, lies and mind games but no one wants to be alone so we continue to get into relationships. We are all trying to find that “one” with the hopes of being in love, having the house and the life we’ve always dreamed of.

I asked a few students at Paul Robeson High School if they have ever been in love. Julius Oscar, an 18-year-old senior, said he has never been in love. “I believe in acceptance of each other and looks don’t mean everything. Everyone falls in love at least once in life; just be who you are and love yourself. You can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself first.” Julius is in a relationship but he classifies it as complicated.

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Eco Youth Reporters Visit Starved Rock

by Tyreshia Black 

Editor’s Note: The following photographs were taken during a fact-finding trip to Starved Rock State Park by the Eco Youth Reporters. The Eco Youths Reporting program was conducted in conjunction with award-winning journalist Kari Lydersen and Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and was generously funded by theMcCormick Foundation:

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We The People Media in the News

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

I was honored recently to guest host “Chicago Newsroom,” the weekly public affairs show hosted by media legend Ken Davis and broadcast over the CAN TV network. My guests were the estimable Chris Robling, vice president at Jayne Thompson Associates and a frequent Republican commentator, and Dave Lundy, principal at  Aileron Communications and a frequent Democratic commentator. We discussed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s tenure so far as well as state politics and the upcoming governor’s race. You can watch the show by clicking on the photo above.

By coincidence, the same day, I was also a guest on “Morning Shift” over WBEZ Chicago Public Radio discussing the arrest of two community leaders on charges of lobbying for Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. You can listen to the show here:

 

 

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We The People Media in the News

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

We The People Media Executive Director Ethan Michaeli appeared recently on CAN TV’s “Chicago Newsroom,” with guest host and WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore as well as Britt Julious, WBEZ blogger, and Achy Obejas, an award-winning author and also a WBEZ blogger. They discussed the state of public housing and Chicago’s neglected neighborhoods.

Click here to watch.

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Meet the Real Robeson High School

by Secret Blackman 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in our Urban Youth International Journalism Program, which is generously funded by the McCormick Foundation.

How is it really at Robeson High School in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side? A lot of people misjudge Robeson because of what they see on the news. Many people might think all Robeson students don’t know anything and fight every day. But what they don’t know is that many kids in Robeson have great talents and are very smart. I currently attend Robeson and it’s very different than what people say. I interviewed some Robeson students to give a fuller picture of the student body, their views on the school, and the violence that is an issue in Englewood.

Shanika Chavis is a freshman who works after school and likes to “goof off with friends.” She said there are not too many gangs at Robeson. She wants to be a teacher because she likes to help people. She said the school “is interesting because you learn different things and you can use them later on in life.” She thinks gangbanging is “stupid and makes no sense.” There are “wild students” at Robeson but added that “if they were more focused on their work they could be better students.” She thinks the school could change for the better if people were “more focused on the kids instead of their behavior.”

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Sit In Against School Closings

by Tyreshia Black 

UYIJP participant Tyreshia Black interviews Chicago teacher Cynthia Smith at a Nov. 2 sit in against school closings. Photo by Kari Lydersen.

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in our Urban Youth International Journalism Program, which is generously funded by the McCormick Foundation.

Teachers, students and many concerned local residents gathered at a rally at City Hall in front of the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Nov. 2 yelling out chants like, “We’re fired up, can’t take it no more” and “Na na na na, hey hey hey, stop closing schools.”
Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey, who I interviewed, proclaimed that he was putting those who are causing problems “on notice.” Sharkey meant that those who are making the choice to close schools and lay off teachers and – in his view – deny children the best education will have to face him and many others.
There has been much controversy and protest around Chicago public schools since the Chicago Board of Education, the Mayor’s office and other officials reportedly plan to close about 100 more Chicago public schools that are labeled as under-performing or under-enrolled. Already, many schools have been closed. The Board of Education was supposed to release its list of schools to close on Dec. 1, although the new schools CEO Barbara Bennett-Byrd successfully asked the state legislature for a few more months to make the decision. Meanwhile, parents, teachers and students at the protest said that no public schools should be closed at all. Read more »

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Does TV Affect Children’s Behavior?

by Khadijah H Masud 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Luke O’Toole Elementary School in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.

Television does affect children’s behavior because children are influenced by what’s around them. When I turn on my television, I see violence, people doing things that they shouldn’t be doing and hear profanity.

According to the University of Maine, violence in the media, on television programming, video games and movies is a growing concern.

In the movies and videos that some kids have access to, they see a lot of bad people doing bad things and hear a lot of profanity. An example of this would be in some movies and/or videos you can see rappers with money who are treating women badly. When a child sees this, they think that type of behavior is OK. They think it’s OK to talk the way they do and act the way they do. A lot of time, they act out the things they see in school, and that affects other kids. It’s not OK to use profanity in school and try to fight other students. Children should not watch things like this. There are movies for adults and there are certain movies for children.

As for television programming, some things are age appropriate and other things aren’t. Kids still have access to these programs either way so the TV should be OK for everyone to watch. Statistics in a University of Maine report indicate that “The typical American child will be exposed to 12,000 violent acts on television a year.”

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