by Mindy Faber

When IssueLab presented me with the opportunity to serve as their guest editorialist for this month’s CloseUp on Youth Media, I jumped at the chance. In my ten years of working in youth media, I have long recognized the pressing need for a centralized hub that could aggregate and archive an expansive set of research materials on this dynamic and vastly under-studied field. As the issue of youth and their relation to the media is taking on a new sense of urgency among educators, policy-makers and social researchers, I also knew that this CloseUp edition could not come at a better time. ? what is youth media

That is why I am absolutely thrilled to report that the field of youth media research responded to our call for research in a big way. This CloseUp on Youth Media lists over 70 downloadable reports, including the entire Series on Digital Media and Learning recently published by MIT and funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation! There are many other gems as well, including reports from the Center for Social Media, Pew Internet and American Life Project, National Coalition Against Censorship, McCormick Tribune Foundation, Open Society Institute, Stuart Foundation, and many more.

Some of the topics researched in the body of work, housed together for the first time, include:

  • Findings on the positive impact of after-school programs, the budget for which President Bush has recently proposed a cut of over 50%, despite findings which prove they bring about greater parental involvement in school, student engagement, and student commitment to homework
  • An analysis of how young people are using new media to participate in the electoral process
  • A study of the digital divide between immigrant youth and their native-born peers
  • An examination of policy concerning intellectual copyright, network neutrality, and radio deregulation, each of which give shape to young people’s ability to access information and participate in mainstream discourse
  • Case studies of how effective youth media programs within the United States and abroad intersect with a wide range of urgent policy issues

See a complete list of research collected for this CloseUp