Heaven Taylor-Wynn and Alexa Volland are the boss lady reporters for MediaWise, a Google-backed, Poynter-led fact-checking program for teenagers. Heaven was previously an intern for Poynter’s PolitiFact, and Alexa was a copyeditor at the Tampa Bay Times and an elementary school journalism teacher.
Teens are hard to figure out, and reaching them online can feel like a constant battle. Like playing Fortnite, but blindfolded — constantly taking shots in the dark hoping something lands. (Fortnite is still a thing, right?)
We both work for MediaWise, a grant-funded digital media literacy project that aims to teach teens how to tell fact from fiction online. Our audience demands a totally different approach to publishing, which has forced us to ignore a traditional newsroom model.
MediaWise doesn’t have a website. (Well, there’s this.) A print product was never really an option. The project lives solely on social, which means we first have to think about how content will be shared, then how it will be presented. It also means we have to be quick to adapt to the ever-changing social media landscape, and willing (sometimes reluctantly) to jump on bandwagon apps and trends.
Alexa helps lead MediaWise’s Teen Fact-Checking Network, a national team of student journalists who debunk misinformation they see on their own timelines. She was 16 in 2007.
Heaven leads MediaWise’s social media development. She was 16 in 2014.
But being 16 in 2019 requires a unique set of skills online, many of which newsrooms should be adopting themselves.
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/business-work/2019/cohort15/