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Young Journalists Share Stories of Pandemic Life & Systemic Racism

Young people have seen their lives upended during the COVID-19 pandemic. High school seniors saw their proms and senior traditions thwarted, and as fall gets underway, university life has been disrupted — with campus classes either cancelled or moved online in the face of campus COVID-19 outbreaks across the U.S., with a smaller number of schools continuing in-person classes. At the same time, young people also acutely feel the weight of our nation's reckoning with systemic racism and police violence and have fought to define their role and their own moral imperative as street protests emerge across the country. And that's not all. As school leaders struggle to navigate remote learning and tamp down campus outbreaks, young people face a landscape rife with uncertainty and anxiety. Along with their families, they are experiencing the economic and mental health toll of the pandemic. Many entry-level jobs have disappeared, families are struggling to pay bills, and the imperative to socially distance and minimize contact has thrown a wrench in what is typically an intensely social period of life. Join us as we hear from three youth journalists from around the country as they discuss the challenges confronting their generation and their own sense of mission about their future. This webinar will give you insights that can inform your reporting and upend your assumptions about Gen Z.  

WHEN: Sept. 30, 2020, from 10-11 a.m. PT / 1-2 p.m. ET

REGISTER: [Now closed / View recording above] 


Riley Lockett has worked in video journalism for five years and he is a contributing journalist with YR Media. With a focus on culture and politics, he uses his unique perspective to give light to a multitude of different issues and current events. With an audience of mostly young adults, his work is delivered in a clear, matter-of-fact language that allows people of any age to understand complex ideas. Born and raised in Oakland, California, he is currently based in Manhattan, pursuing an undergraduate degree in Film & TV Production at NYU.  

Paige Masten is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying journalism and economics. She currently serves as the opinion editor at The Daily Tar Heel, UNC’s independent student newspaper. Her interests and past experience include work at the North Carolina General Assembly and research on student mental health. 

Amora Campbell is a high school senior at the Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts and a student journalist in the Urban Health Media Project in Washington D.C. Her career interests include public policy, sustainability and journalism.

 This webinar is free and made possible by The California Endowment. 

Suggested reading

Editorial: We all saw this coming,” by the Daily Tar Heel Editorial Board

In quarantine with 90-year-old great auntie,” by Amora Campbell, Urban Health Media Project

Amid COVID-19, church killings anniversary, Charleston Black history museum keeps eye on 2022 opening,” by Jayne O'Donnell and Amora Campbell, USA Today

Editorial: Black lives matter,” The Daily Tar Heel

Column: The student journalist experience,” The Daily Tar Heel

Editorial: You spoke. The University didn't listen.” The Daily Tar Heel

OPINION: Why Celebrity COVID Donations Aren't Helping,” by Riley Lockett, YR Media

Oakland Calls For Justice For George Floyd,” by Riley Lockett, YR Media

Intro to Anarchism,” by Riley Lockett, YR Media




The wave of attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has been emotionally gutting for these communities. In our next webinar, we’ll examine the impact of the crisis on the mental health of Asian Americans, especially the women who are often targeted. Join us for a deep discussion to inform your coverage of the crisis and broader reporting on AAPI communities. Sign-up here!

As public health officials like to say, "COVID-19 isn't done with us." And journalists know that we're not done with COVID-19. Apply now for five days of stimulating discussions on the pandemic's disproportionate impact on people of color -- plus reporting and engagement grants of $2k-$10k and five months of mentoring while you work on an ambitious project.

Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States? The USC Center for Health Journalism seeks an enterprising and experienced journalism leader for our new position of “Manager of Projects.” 



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