PBS NewsHour student journalists investigate the future of work

Washington, DC (March 1, 2018) — Technology and new social norms are rapidly transforming the labor landscape, leaving the next generation to renegotiate their place and the future of work.

PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs asked its network of youth reporters in 42 states to track down stories of innovation and adversity that reflect the changing nature of jobs and careers across the country.

The diversity of voices reveals a rare youth perspective that opens an intergenerational dialogue around economic mobility and how to prepare today’s youth for tomorrow’s jobs.

In Lebanon, Pennsylvania, a 15-year-old farm entrepreneur created a successful pork business out of a 4-H project while navigating everyday life as a teenager. “The farming industry encompasses a lot of things that I will be able to use later on in life,” said Dakota Grumbine.

Outside Detroit, teen YouTube producers upend the traditional broadcasting model from a studio in a living room, using online resources to teach themselves the skills they need to succeed.

Down south in Miami, Florida, journalism students at Christopher Columbus High found a school dedicated to training tomorrow’s law enforcement leaders. Further west near Austin, Texas, reporters at Westwood High School profiled an organization focused on creating environments where young girls feel confident learning how to code. “Knowing how to code is a huge asset, so we’re focusing on fostering these girls and teaching them the skills they need to succeed in college and beyond,” said Varshinee Sreekath, president of Code Girls.

A total of 35 schools in 19 states contributed more than 50 videos to this series.

Youth media makers who participate in SRL are given mentorship, hands-on lessons and resources to develop their voice as young journalists, and a platform to connect and share local news pieces. This project-based learning approach challenges students to find stories in their own backyard, while applying journalistic standards to their methods and storytelling.

Featured Student Reporting Labs:

  • Aldine Senior High School, Houston, Texas
  • Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High School, Miami, Florida
  • Amphitheater High School, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Blackstone-Millville Regional High School, Blackstone, Massachusetts
  • Burlingame High School, San Mateo, California
  • Camden County Technical School Pennsauken Campus, Camden, New Jersey
  • Canyon High School, Santa Clarita, California
  • Cedar Crest High School, Lebanon, Pennsylvania
  • Christopher Columbus High School, Miami, Florida
  • Davis High School, Houston, Texas
  • Dominion High School, Loudoun, Virginia
  • Entrada Draper Campus, Sandy, Utah
  • Etiwanda High School, Rancho Cucamonga, California
  • Fraser High School, Fraser, Michigan
  • Frederick V. Pankow Center, Michigan
  • Garinger High School, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Granby High School, Norfolk, Virginia
  • Hughes STEM High School, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Independence High School, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Mid-Maine Technical Center, Waterville, Maine
  • Northside Charter High School, Brooklyn, New York
  • Northview High School, Covina, California
  • Pflugerville High School, Pflugerville, Texas
  • Pleasure Ridge Park High School, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Racine Montessori School, Racine, Wisconsin
  • Royal Oak High School, Royal Oak, Michigan
  • Sentinel High School, Missoula, Montana
  • Smoky Mountain Youth Media, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • South Houston High School, Houston, Texas
  • The U School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Wauwatosa East High School, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
  • Wauwatosa West High School,Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
  • West Ranch High School, Santa Clarita, California
  • Westwood High School, Austin, Texas

Station support for this project provided by:

Houston Public Media, South Florida PBS, Arizona Public Media, KQED, Rhode Island PBS, WHYY Philadelphia, WITF, Houston Public Media, WETA, UEN, PBS SoCal, Detroit Public Media, WHRO, PBS Charlotte, Maine Public, WNET, KET, KLRU, Montana PBS, Eastern Tennessee PBS, WHYY, WPT, KLRU

About Student Reporting Labs

Student Reporting Labs provides middle and high schools with a unique video journalism curriculum, teacher professional development, mentorship and relationships with local public media stations to produce original stories that explore how critical national issues impact communities around the country. Visit PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs on Facebook or follow us onTwitter. Major support is provided by the Corporation for Public BroadcastingAmerican Graduate: Getting to Work, the Kauffman Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award.

About PBS NewsHour

PBS NewsHour is seen by over four million weekly viewers and is also available online, via public radio in select markets, and via podcast. PBS NewsHour is a production of NewsHour Productions LLC, a wholly-owned nonprofit subsidiary of WETA Washington, D.C., in association with WNET in New York. More information on PBS NewsHour is available at pbs.org/newshour. On social media, visit NewsHour on Facebook or follow @NewsHour on Twitter.

Media Contacts

Leah Clapman, Managing Editor, Student Reporting Labs: lclapman@newshour.org

Elis Estrada, Director, Student Reporting Labs: eestrada@newshour.org