In Press Play, we talk with leaders from non-for-profit organizations about their challenges, their experiences working with the community, and their goals. In this edition, we talked with Richard Garrick, Lead Youth Producer and Internship Coordinator at MNN’s Youth Channel.
NYXT: How did you get involved with MNN’s Youth Channel?
Richard Garrick: When I came here I saw the previous cycle was based specifically on small social events and social justice documentaries, but the content we were putting out was far and few between so my number one objective was adding some versatility to our productions. So we added shows like the YC Weekly and Import Legacy, shows that are funny and provide information to keep the audience retention while being able to pump them out at a faster pace. The Youth Channel has been making around 3-4 videos a semester to 20+.
NYXT: How does MNN’s Youth Channel work?
RG: The Youth Channel is based on content made for the youth by the youth, whether it is in house productions or productions that we receive from partners.
NYXT: What are the main difficulties that students encounter when trying to
express themselves with media?
RG: The students’ main difficulties usually lie within the creation of what they would like to do. They always have ideas but sometimes they are too broad or they don't fit the story we are trying to tell here at the YMC, so trying to temper and conform their ideas into a simpler process would be their most difficult task.
NYXT: Why is it important to include teenagers in media production?
RG: It's important to include teenagers because the earlier teens jump into something the sooner they'll know if it's for them or not. If you are going to college with a little background in video production, you will have a step or at least equal footing with those that have learned it in high school. On the other hand it also allows them to figure out this may not be the route that they want to take, which is completely fine as well!
NYXT: What are the main issues that students and interns are concerned about?
RG: The students and interns have very different concerns due to where they are in life, a lot of times the students are worried about school and college and figuring out what they are going to be doing post graduation. The interns are all about making sure they have enough content created that they can use on their reel so that they can find work once their YMC cycle ends. Which is exactly why it's always been my main goal to focus on their ability to be versatile in what they create, because now in the world most people want short and sweet informational content that they can promote on the internet for companies and organizations. If the interns and students can leave here feeling confident they can do that I've done my job.
NYXT: Do you think that youths have enough representation in media? Which aspects could be improved?
RG: I don't think the question is if they have enough representation in the media, considering access to the internet and sites like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc. because the youth are everywhere. It's do they have enough correct representation in the media? At this point it's a double edge sword because youth get highlighted more than ever but it's always not the best things but simply the most entertaining, hence the rise of things such as Vine, Tik Tok, etc.
NYXT: Does MNN’s Youth Channel collaborate with other organizations?
RG: The Youth Channel works with a number of programs such as All American High School Film Festival which highlights high school filmmakers, as well as the local schools and organizations that we provide basic production sessions for like the George Washington High School and El Barrio Operation Fightback.
NYXT: Which are the main obstacles and goals that MNN’s Youth Channel has for 2020?
RG: We just take everything one day at a time and approach each challenge to the best of our abilities.
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