By Aaron Patrick
While some of the first impressions adults have of youths, are that they can be indolent, laid-back, or only like to have fun, this particular group of youngsters have been productively making the most of this pandemic season. How? By creating and curating relevant content!
Meet YOUth News Official, a multimedia project run by the youth, for the youth, on all things youth. Currently run by a large team of 33 students from IACT College, these up-and-coming content creators have been making youth-relatable content on various platforms such as YouTube, Podcasts, TikTok, Instagram, as well as blogs on their very own website.
The project is a legacy project, by three different batches of Mass Communication Diploma students since early 2020 up until now, in conjunction with one of their modules called ‘Convergent Journalism’.
“It started as a class project to teach students how to create journalistic content for multiplatform news and that idea grew into YOUth as it is today,” shared Mohd Ares, the current Editor-in-Chief. “We started YOUth because we looked at the market and saw that there weren’t any specifically targeted towards youth.”
“It was developed not only as a learning platform for the students but it was also a place where the youth themselves could create and curate news content aimed at the youth,” he said.
Learning about the plans for the YOUth project for the current batch, Ares shares that they have been revamping the designs across the board for a new look.
“We wanted to come up with a fresh new look, and we curated in a way that would appeal to our target audiences,” the young chief said. “We’re really excited to see how they react to them.”
Sharing his thoughts on spearheading a relatively big project, Ares shared, “We started off this project being thrown into the deep-end and had to learn how to swim and survive – of course, with the help of our lecturer – but we knew that this was an opportunity that we wouldn’t get anywhere else, so we gave it our all.”
“One of the bigger challenges was communication, and kind of ensuring mutual understanding of a certain thing,” shared the YOUth EIC on one of the challenges faced during the content creation process. “Sometimes (online) messages can be misinterpreted, so I think that the way we approached this issue was to learn to adapt to the communication styles of each of our members.”
“We also struggled with work-life balance; since we’re not on campus anymore, that means there’s no clear ‘I’m going home now’ moment,” said Ares on another challenge faced by the team.
“This is where we realised the importance of setting boundaries, so how we really got around that was setting boundaries and making sure that everyone has taken the time for their own mental health.”
Whether this would remain an internal college project or expand into a more public collaboration, Ares exclaimed, “All I can say is at this point, the sky’s the limit!”
Amrita Dhillon, supervising lecturer for the YOUth project also provided her thoughts on the matter. “We don’t have anything set in stone,” said Amrita. “Right now we are taking things one step at a time and we’re definitely open to possibilities of growth.”
On their hopes for YOUth in the near future, Ares shares, “I hope that YOUth gets bigger. I want it to have more reach and have a bigger, positive impact on things.”
“I concur with what Ares said,” said Amrita. “We would love to reach out to more people, and that is definitely part of our plan – to expand in some way or the other.”
Kudos to all 33 students who have been running this big multimedia project so far! It calls to show that today’s youth have the capacity to create relevant and value-adding content which benefits the lives of society today, and perhaps even inspire more people to do the same.
Need some entertainment, inspiration, or curious to know more about the local youth? Check out their content here!