Youth Voices Program

The Montana Media Lab empowers youth in rural and Indigenous communities to find their voices. We teach teens how to tell stories about their own experiences using audio journalism. Along the way, students get a look inside the media landscape. Participants say the workshops help them feel confident in their abilities to separate fact from fiction on the internet.

We’ve worked with high schools in Lodge Grass, Ronan, Box Elder and Missoula. Interested in starting a youth voices audio storytelling project in your school? Get in touch!

Projects

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Deer Lodge students create audio series with Montana Media Lab

Deer Lodge teens explored the relationship between their town and mining in a podcast series they finished during a workshop with the Montana Media Lab. The project was inspired by the great Montana podcast, "Richest Hill," which tells the story of the Superfund cleanup in Butte, Montana. Students conducted interviews…

Ronan students report on highway construction for MTPR

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…

Miles City students report on historic theater renovation

One stop on our summer news literacy and audio storytelling tour was at Custer County High School in Miles City. Students covered the re-opening of a historic movie theater, capturing the feel of the space by recording the sound of popcorn being made and the squeals of children waiting to…

Great Falls students report on local art festival

This summer we taught high school students in Great Falls about news literacy and digital storytelling. The workshop yielded a story on the new murals on downtown buildings. The story aired around the state on Yellowstone Public Radio. Listen to the full story here Students learned how to find reliable…

Lodge Grass students report on the Ultimate Warrior Competition

Last summer the Media Lab team hosted a workshop in Lodge Grass, where students interviewed people in horse stables and at tribal offices for a story about an annual race rooted in Apsaaloóke culture.Their story aired around the state on Yellowstone Public Radio. Students interviewed Ian White, who has competed…

Harlem students make an audio portrait of their home

The first stop on our summer 2022 high school workshop road trip was in Harlem, Montana. Students took to the streets with microphones and notebooks to report an audio portrait of the quiet town just off the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. Their story aired around the state on Yellowstone Public…

Heart Butte student reporters document solar project

In Heart Butte, Montana, students reported on news unfolding right in their backyard using skills they learned at a News Literacy and Digital Storytelling Workshop. Construction crews were installing a new solar array that would supply energy for the school and for community members. Students made a radio feature that…

Young Polson filmmakers investigate the Flathead Monster

Middle school students in Polson spent the week of their News Literacy and Digital Storytelling Workshop gathering stories about the Flathead Lake monster for a video story. An elder shared the Kootenai story of a lake monster creating Flathead lake.  The students visited a judge who believed he saw a…

Hays-Lodgepole students report on Native language textbook

Students at Hays Lodgepole school spent a week this summer navigating fact and fiction on the internet and creating an audio story about a new Nakoda language textbook at a News Literacy and Digital Storytelling Workshop.  Students interviewed the school principal, the illustrator of the book, and their peers. The…

Box Elder students produce videos about community happenings

Box Elder High School hosted the first Montana Media Lab News Literacy and Digital Storytelling workshop of the summer. Box Elder students made two videos about their community. One focused on the new school garden—Bear Nation Garden. They got footage of the garden intern planting seedlings and pulling weeds. Their…

Summer 2021 news literacy and digital storytelling workshops

In June 2021 the Montana Media Lab hit the road for a series of news literacy and digital storytelling workshops at schools in rural Montana. Teens in Box Elder, Hays-Lodgepole, Polson, and Heart Butte participated. Students at each school told stories about their communities using audio and video skills they…

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