Aug 17

JOURNALISM CHALLENGES

TOPICS AND ISSUES TO EXPLORE

The following challenges are designed to help get you started with the Community Journalism Project -- and to inspire you. Each week, on the YWP site, and monthly in The Voice, we'll introduce more challenges to the list. To distinguish them from YWP's regular weekly challenges, we have given them a "CJP" designation for the Community Journalism Project. If you have ideas for journalism-related challenges, add them at CJP-Prompts. NOTE: Challenges will be marked by the week they are highlighted on the site, but you can respond to any of these challenges any time through the year!
WEEK 1 - August 26

CJP-Home: Write about your community. It could be a straight descriptive piece, a personal reflection, or an opinionated commentary. What do you like about it? What works; what doesn't? What would make you want to stay or leave?

CJP-Photo Essay1: Create a photo essay of your community. This could be a general collection of photos, or have a theme (front porches, town forest, main street, farmers' market, civic buildings, etc.). Along with the photos, write a short commentary that reflects the sense of place, what makes it unique or special to you. Remember to identify the photos. 
WEEK 2 - Sepember 2

CPJ-Immigrant
Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said in an interview that Emma Lazarus’s words on the Statue of Liberty should read, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.” If you could respond directly to Cuccinelli, what would you say?
 
WEEK 3 - September 9

CJP-Teens: What do adults get wrong about teenagers?

CJP-Photo Essay2: Create a photo essay of a specific place either in your community or your home that is meaningful to you. Along with the photos, write a short commentary that identifies the place and explains why it matters. 
 
WEEK 4 - September 16

Voices for Change: Join YWP for a Climate Activism Workshop and Open Mic led by YWP Community Leaders Hazel Civalier and Sophie Dauerman and Poet Lizzy Fox. Thursday, Sept. 19, 6-8 PM at Burlington City Arts! It's free and leads up to the Friday, Sept. 20 Global Climate Strike.

CJP-Climate1: Is anyone listening? Send an urgent message about climate change so people will sit up and pay attention.
 
WEEK 5 - September 23

CJP-Interview1: Check out the Journalism 101 interviewing tips, choose a classmate, preferably someone you don't know well, and interview this person with the goal of writing a solid profile. Then ask the person to interview you. Use whatever tools you have to document and/or record the interview. 

​CJP-Rural: Many of America's rural areas are struggling with such issues as economic decline and loss of population. Is this happening in your community? What can be done?
 
WEEK 6 - September 30

CJP-Vote: At what age should Americans be allowed to vote? A major political party in Canada, the New Democratic Party, supports lowering the voting age in federal elections to 16. In the U.S., this idea is also gaining some traction, including from U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a Democrat from Massachusetts. What do you think of this idea? What are the benefits and risks? 

CJP-Race1: Toni Morrison, the first African-American woman to win the Nobel in Literature, once said, “In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.” Expand on Morrison's thought.