Jul 19, 2012

CIR, Youth Speaks will pair journalists with young poets

The Center for Investigative Reporting unveiled a partnership with Youth Speaks, a nonprofit group that promotes written and oral expression among young people. The two Bay Area-based groups will match CIR's experienced journalists with young poets "to create new opportunities for 21st-century storytelling," according to the July 19 news release.

Focusing on topics like immigration, education, health care and the environment, the organizations aim to engage young audiences in discussions of current events while allowing reporters to connect on a more personal level with the perspectives of youth.

"We want to hear directly from young people so that we can better understand the challenges they face in life," said Robert Rosenthal, CIR executive director, in the announcement. "We will use that intelligence to inform and evolve our reporting so that young audiences will value investigative journalism and understand the role it can have in shaping their future."

James Kass, the founder and executive director of Youth Speaks, said the group is always on the lookout for new avenues to encourage youth to be actively engaged in community life.

CIR's reporting has been co-produced or presented on both public and commercial news media outlets, including NPR News, PBS's Frontline, CBS's 60 Minutes and The Washington Post. Earlier this year CIR merged operations with Bay Citizen, a Bay Area-based nonprofit journalism outlet focused on local news reporting.

The new partnership will be formally announced at a town hall Friday during Youth Speaks' Brave New Voices Festival in Berkeley, Calif.

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