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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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Commissioner Fails to Show at Mental Health Town Hall Meeting

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Community activist Lonnie Richardson discusses the need for mental health services for young people at a town hall on Aug. 5. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte.

Dozens of people concerned with the state of the city’s mental health services, who packed a community meeting this week, were disappointed when the city public health commissioner did not show up.

N’Dana Carter, a member of the Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) community human rights organization, who was moderating the event at Mercy Hospital’s Joyce Auditorium, 2525 S. Michigan Ave., on the evening of August 5 told the audience that Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Bechara Choucair called and cancelled two hours before the meeting began.

“Our fearless leader Dr. Choucair…called at 3:30 p.m. to cancel. He will not be here,” declared Carter, a consumer at the Greater Grand/Mid-South Mental Health facility at 4314 S. Cottage Grove.

“Dr. Choucair didn’t make the meeting tonight, because he felt that we were going to ambush him. And he was afraid. He was afraid because the citizens of the city of Chicago and our visitors want the mental health clinics, and they don’t want privatization of any of the health clinics,” she added.

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Youth Activists: Juvenile Inmates “Treated Like Animals.”

by Tyreshia Black 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood:

Going without clean clothes for weeks. Eating bad food. Suffering violence. These are realities of the juvenile justice system in Cook County, according to youth organizations and experts who spoke at Roosevelt University March 10 in an event organized by the group Fearless Leading by Youth (FLY) and the Southwest Youth Collaborative to expose how teens are treated in detention facilities.

It was a shame to hear how the youth inmates are being treated at the Audy Home detention facility on the Southwest side. At the event, youth leaders said the detained youth have to wear the same jumpsuits and underwear for up to two weeks before getting clean ones. And they said the food being served was weeks past its expiration date, causing many of the young inmates to become ill.

Hearing their descriptions made me cringe inside and wonder how I could help. The food and lack of clothing changes weren’t the only things of concern. Violence was an even bigger topic. The speakers said that in 2007, a “riot” broke out at the Audy Home and chairs, computer monitors and keyboards were thrown. Security guards and employees were hurt, according to media reports. But speakers at Roosevelt said the juvenile detainees were also hurt, and it took weeks or even months for their cuts and bruises to fully heal.

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RJ Publisher on “Chicago Newsroom”

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

This week, I was honored to appear on “Chicago Newsroom,” hosted by veteran broadcaster Ken Davis, along with fellow guests Art Golab, Database Editor with the Chicago Sun-Times, and Charlie Meyerson, a regular voice on Chicago radio. We discussed the progress of new Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the ouster of Chicago Housing Authority CEO Lewis Jordan, the future of the Taste of Chicago and other issues.

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On the Campaign Trail with Che “Rhymefest” Smith

by Cornelius Jordan 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood:

Driving around Englewood, pointing out empty lots on Feb. 18, Che “Rhymefest” Smith talked about how these used to be houses. He said he wants to transform the neighborhood and make it a clean and safe environment for kids to play in. He said the neighborhood has no love and care in it, but he wants to change that.

Che 'Rhymefest' Smith on the campaign trail. Photo courtesy of Smith's campaign web site.

Smith is running for alderman of the 20th ward in the April 5 run-off election, after he got 20 percent of the vote in the primary election in February. His opponent is incumbent Willie Cochran. Smith is a Grammy-award-winning rapper, who has met

famous people including Ciara, Bow Wow and Rick Ross. But now, he says he wants to focus his attention on serving his community.

As he went door to door campaigning, some of the gates were locked. He and his assistant put campaign fliers on the locked gates and his assistant rang every doorbell where the gates were unlocked, until she got an answer. For ones with no answer, they would come back the next day. Smith was determined to reach every voter. In his office, he had maps with circles around the homes he’d already been to. After covering an entire block, Smith and his supporters got back into the white van decorated with his name and drove to the next block. Read more »

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Youths Speak Out on Violence

by Trevor Hill 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood:

Mayor Richard M. Daley spoke at the Hope World event held at Sherman Park on July 30, 2010. Over 2,000 volunteers across the United States attended this event and talked about their efforts to reduce violence in the schools and communities.

RJ's Urban Youth International Journalism student Trevor Hill with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley after the Hope World event at Sherman Park on July 30, 2010. Photo courtesy of Jean Hill

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Do Students Trust Authority?

by Manquaze Allen 

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program class at People for Community Recovery, a not-for-profit organization based in the Altgeld Gardens public housing development.

In March, a city-wide youth media group called Nuf Said put out an online and written survey. Nuf-Said is a group of youths from various youth media organizations that came together to find out what young people in Chicago think about education, housing, health, violence and employment.

Once the survey results were in, Nuf-Said participants created media around the statistics to explore how true they are. The survey had a question about a student name Amri getting in a student named Jaden’s face after school over something that had happened in the school lunch room.

The surveyed youths were asked if they would call an authority figure like a teacher or cop. 6.4 percent of the students said they would, while a combined 48.2 percent of students felt they should do something to get back at the other person and 42.3 percent said they would just walk away.

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RJ Youth Instructor Discussing Teen Project with Youth Reporter

by Mary C. Piemonte 


Click on the image to view the eighth episode of this season’s “RJ TV,” on on September 13, 2010.

Watch Residents’ Journal‘syouth instructor Kari Lydersen, discussing a summer teen project with We The People Media’s “Urban Youth International Journalism Program” youth reporter Trevor Hill.

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A Teens View of a recent Chicago Youth Summit

by Mary C. Piemonte 


Click on the image to view the sixth episode of this season’s “RJ TV,” on August 23, 2010.

Watch Residents’ Journal’s reporter Quintana Woodridge’s live discussion with teen Aliya Johnson, about her participation in the Center for New Horizon’s Youth Summit in June, and about what went on at the event.

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Residents’ Journal Reporters Share Results of Youth Surveys

by Mary C. Piemonte 


Click on the image to view the third episode of this season’s “RJ TV,” on August 2, 2010.

Watch Residents’ Journal Youth Project Director Quintana Woodridge’s discussion with RJ young adult reporter Jasmine Hunt about participation in the Chicago Youth Voices Network’s “Nuf SAID” project, where Hunt and other youth reporters surveyed their peers across the city of Chicago in March 2010, about issues of education, crime, violence, health and the environment, housing and homelessness, jobs and employment issues.

The two RJ reporters also discussed Hunt’s scheduled interview with 3rd Ward Ald. Pat Dowell regarding pollution, an upcoming article on school violence by another youth reporter, and they also discussed a “Youth Truth” video produced by the Nuf SAID group in July 2010.

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