The Youth Journalism Initiative
Preparing the next generation of storytellers starts local – in schools and communities.
That’s why CalMatters has partnered with the Emerson Collective to help programs ready more high school students for a career in journalism.
Launched in July 2022, CalMatters’ Youth Journalism Initiative is helping youth become careful consumers and quality producers of news. We recognize that media literacy is key to democratic governance and that California needs a stronger pipeline for diverse youth entering newsrooms.
The Youth Journalism Initiative
Our initiative includes three goals:
- Research the state of youth journalism in California and its needs.
- Collaboratively build solutions with schools and existing community programs.
- Launch pilot programs in areas yet to be served.
If you are interested in our work or a partnership, contact us:
Events & programs
Weekly webinars bringing industry reporters to your classroom
If you are a teacher or student, this is your chance to ask questions and connect your class directly with the news industry.
Our live webinars take you behind-the-scenes on reporters’ stories. If you have suggestions or cannot attend but would like to ask a featured guest a question, please submit via the contact form above.
All webinars are recorded and archived below.
Webinar 2023 Schedule
Every Thursday 2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. PST
Use the contact form above to request Zoom link and access.
|Sept. 21, 2023||CalMatters reporter Nicole Foy on covering farmworkers, extreme weather and Gov. Newsom’s ‘rapid response’||Video Link|
|Sept. 28, 2023||Long Beach Post editor Jeremiah Dobruck on investigating alleged misuse of public funds||Video Link|
|Oct. 5, 2023||CalMatters reporter Byrhonda Lyons on investigating California’s rehabilitation programs||N/A|
|Oct. 12, 2023||L.A. TACO reporter Janette Villafana on covering street vendors‘ struggles and victories||Video Link|
|Oct. 19, 2023||Black Voice News reporter Breanna Reeves on health equity reporting and the need for Black media||Video Link|
|Nov. 2, 2023||Live from Boston NHSJC: Student reporters on why they do journalism||Video Link|
|Nov. 9, 2023||A how-to: submitting your first public records request with Ginny LaRoe and Delilah Brumer||Video Link|
|Nov. 16, 2023||Los Angeles Times reporter Faith Pinho on creating her narrative podcast series, ‘Foretold‘||Video Link|
|Nov. 30, 2023||CBS13 & Good Day Sacramento anchor/reporter Jordan Segundo on broadcast news|
23 California educators and leaders selected
We are happy to announce that CalMatters has selected 23 fellows from across California who will be paired with industry and scholastic mentors to help scale their student-led programs, receive assistance with curriculum, build skills, and more. Fellows include high school teachers, middle school teachers and a community program leader.
The fellowship launched July 10th with a four-day in-person summer kick-off in our newsroom.
|Lesley Lee, Arcadia|
Laura Maranta, Atascadero
Samantha Gobba, Chico
Brittney Hawkins, Chico
William Crisafi, Chino
Daniel Gonzalez, Fresno
Katie McQuone Botello, Fresno
Julie Francesconi, Granite Bay
|Veronica Grammier, Irvine|
Elizabeth Monaco, La Crescenta-Montrose
Devon’te Jameson, Long Beach
Erika Rocha Urbina, Los Angeles
Monica Cabrera, Manteca
Steven Kent, Northridge
Mallorie Winn, Oakland
Verity Olliff, Oxnard
|Kelley Peviani-Bruno, Redlands|
William Nelson, Riverside
Laurel Hermes, San Francisco
Katherine Sanford, San Geronimo
Tamara Storms, Santa Ana
Lara Willbanks, Santa Barbara
Alexandrina (Lexie) Pretto, Woodside
JCal 2023 was a huge success!
All-inclusive summer program took place from June 20 to June 24 in our Sacramento newsroom.
This summer, the Asian American Journalists Association in partnership with CalMatters launched JCal, a new program for high school students. The program immersed 22 high school students from across California into the state’s news ecosystem, featuring workshops, legislator interviews, a Capitol tour, and more. We even made the evening TV news!
Students were also paired closely with industry mentors for what proved to be a life-changing experience. Go here to review student reporting projects, as featured in California media.
Check out the winners of CalMatters’ inaugural Earth Day Contest below:
1st place: Bella Tarlton, junior from Humboldt County
How will California protect Humboldt Bay from worst sea level rise on the West Coast?
2nd Place: Olivia Brandeis, high school student from Contra Costa County
California disaster protections are not the same as climate change solutions
3rd Place: Andrew Zhou, junior from Santa Clara County
California schools remain vulnerable to closures caused by climate change
4th Place: Jesse Morris, high school student from Tulare County
California must curb Central Valley food waste as water crisis worsens
Earth Day contest highlights: California youth plead for change, sound the alarm
CalMatters is a nonpartisan and nonprofit news organization bringing Californians stories that probe, explain and explore solutions to quality of life issues while holding our leaders accountable. We are the only journalism outlet dedicated to covering America’s biggest state, 39 million Californians and the world’s fifth largest economy.