Judy Goldberg is the executive director of the Youth Media Project, a program in Santa Fe high schools that teaches students about radio production. It airs at 7 pm every other Wednesday on KSFR 101.1 FM. Goldberg’s own radio show, Back Roads Radio, airs on KSFR at 1 pm every Sunday.
SFR: So what is the Youth Media Project, in a nutshell?
JG: The curriculum is rooted in gathering stories from the community and having that integrated into academic learning. We work with teachers and students at Santa Fe High School and Monte del Sol [Charter School] to create classes like Radio Arts and Narrative Radio. We also work with [Santa Fe] Community College and high schools with dual-enrollment classes, and we also work with the Academy for Technology and the Classics, the Santa Fe Indian School, Earth Care International, and now we’re with United World College and we’ve worked up in Pojoaque. It’s about hooking up with educators and students to develop these skills, and then, in each area, they develop radio pieces, which then come onto the radio show. So either the students’ final result is being live on the radio or they have produced a piece that is finished and pre-produced and we put it on.
Give me some examples of these shows.
One show we did, which shows the totality of using all these partnerships, was on war and conflict. We had students from the United World College talking about how you can create peace; we had students from Monte del Sol’s English classes who read Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried and they did their own ‘What I Carry;’ and then we had an interview with a Vietnam veteran and peace activist. He was a guest speaker in the radio-arts class, then the kids interviewed him and that was edited down. So that’s a nice example of how we pull from different classes, pick a theme, then it’s woven together as a finished show.
Judging from everything you’re doing, the present seems to be a dynamic time for radio.
Only recently I’ve been brought into a national awareness of the youth-media movement. It’s rising in tandem with youth leadership and service learning. I’ve been asked to participate in the Youth Media Reporter, which is a publication that comes out of New York, and they are the forerunners of trying to help amass those who practice and teach youth media. And I was asked to be one of 40 delegates at the Youth Media Summit—all practitioners and academicians—to help shape the field and move it forward.
On July 1, you and two longtime YMP students, Carmen Gallegos and Dolna Smithback, travel to Connecticut to take part in the Global Youth Leadership Institute’s three-day intensive leadership summit. Can you talk a little about that program?
The program is really focused on building the leaders of tomorrow, but also the focus is on cultural diversity, religious pluralism, environmental components—so all of this will be woven into [the three-day program]. Two of those days we will actually be on board the tall ship, the schooner Amistad. The students will work in teams and crews. We’re going to be participating as well as gathering stories. The whole idea is that we’re going to develop some great radio from this. Because Dolna interned with Democracy Now, we’re waiting to hear if they might be interested in some of the story.
What’s on tap for the July 1 YMP radio broadcast?
It’s a good show. It’s some of the picks of the best of the year. It’s a potpourri of youth voices. It addresses some really heavy issues: suicide, abortion, gangs and influences, environmental issues. We have a student who’s with us in the summer intensive who is a young father. He’s 18, and his girlfriend is 16, and he’s doing a piece about young fathers. He’s interviewing other young fathers, and he’s interviewing his own father, who was a teen father. [Making this show is about] being able to objectify your own story and see that there’s commonality—we’ve all been through something, so we don’t feel so isolated. I do feel excited about that part of this work.