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Detroit teens make their own news

Interviewing Detroit Police Chief about his call to Action at Triumph Church East Grand Blvd. YNN DETROIT PHOTO

Interviewing Detroit Police Chief about his call to Action at Triumph Church East Grand Blvd. YNN DETROIT PHOTO

DETROIT — This November, young Detroiters will audition for chances to learn the craft of journalism from acclaimed professionals. The Youth Neighborhood News is “a youth-led, youth-created positive news program where students can learn to report, write, shoot, produce and create their own positive news stories told from their own unique perspective,” according to YNN’s facebook page. Wayne State University’s Department of Communication and the head of their journalism faculty Jack Lessenberry were pivotal in expanding the program, said a YNN representative.

“When we founded this program our goal was to help young people become objective journalists, good writers and strategic thinkers,” said Marge Sorge, executive director of the Detroit Regional News Hub, one of YNN’s co-founders. “Our partnership with Wayne State and its excellent Department of Communication helps take that objective to its highest level.”

“There has never been a better time to be a journalist,” said former journalist Lee Wilkins, current chairperson of WSU’s Department of Communication. “Learning how to write and report a story, and how to get your story to an audience, is the essence of the profession and one we know this program promotes.”

“As students graduate from high school and move on to college, we hold auditions so we can maintain a team of about 15 YNN reporters,” said Vanessa Denha Garmo, producer, YNN Logan Network. YNN focuses on television-style journalism. “We look for students primarily interested in writing, reporting and editing.”

In addition to learning to tell their own stories and take ownership of the narratives about their communities, YNN students have the opportunity to meet and interview political/community leaders including Police Chief James Craig, and celebrities like Sinbad, Mitch Albom and Disney pop singers Payton List and Calum Worthy.

Auditions will be held Nov. 21, 4-6 p.m. in room 420 Manoogian Hall on Wayne State’s midtown Detroit campus.  For more information about the Nov. 21 auditions, please email Denha Garmo at

— Staff report

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