This winter our Youth Voices program headed to beautiful Ronan, Montana for a high school audio storytelling workshop. Students learned the basics of journalism, practiced using their audio gear, and making a radio news story. And along the way, they realized that their expertise on their hometown contained a story valuable to listeners across the state.
The group chose to cover a road construction project that could disrupt traffic in their town. On first glance, highway design might not seem like the most thrilling story. But local knowledge led these young reporters to uncover the depth of the project’s potential impacts.
They found that the path a road takes changes peoples lives. They heard resident’s worries that the new highway could turn their home into a ghost town. Others told them the new road could increase business profits. Their peers said they feared the new route of the highway could prevent their beloved trips to the local Dairy Queen for lunch.
The story aired statewide on Montana Public Radio, and a print version was published in the Char Koosta News and the Lake County Leader.