Next Generation Media

I wrote this article last semester. For more information on Next Generation Media go to www.cmy.net.au/NextGenerationMedia, while you’re there check out how the Centre for Multicultural Youth is helping youth in our community and beyond.

Students of the Next Generation Media project will graduate this Friday. The project aims to improve the Australian media by creating more opportunities for multicultural youth.

Sumedha Verma, 19, decided to participate in the project to meet people in similar positions and because of a genuine interest in media.

Born in Bendigo, Ms Verma says she grew up without representations ofher people, Australian-Punjabis or Australian-Indians, in the media.

Ms Verma said “We are a part of the Australian landscape. I wantto see a non-biased media representation – an appreciative view of the migrant, refugee, non-white culture that [Australia] has.”

Rachel Bongiorno, from the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council, said “The issue of under-representation in the mainstream media feeds a lack of understanding in reporting and in society – which can lead to stereotyping and racism.”

The project, which was started in partnership by the NEMBC, the Centrefor Multicultural Youth and SYN Media, tutored 22 young people between the ages of 15 and 25 from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

For two weeks in January the students participated in a summer school.Ms Bongiourno said “We designed the course to include leadership training, understanding the media and radio broadcast training”, as well as voice training and public speaking classes.

Ms Bongiourno said she felt a diverse media “providesmore diverse perspectives on a number of issues and experiences –  it gives the audience a greater understanding for the experience of culturally diverse people and different cultures. It facilitates dialogue and understanding.”

During the summer school the students visited radio stations; SBS, ABC,3RRR and 3ZZZ. At the end of the course the students were assigned volunteer journalist mentors.

For 12 weeks the students were responsible for running a radio show on SYN fm. Airing at 1 pm on Sundays, the Next Generation Media!radio show reported a range of topics on multicultural affairs and shared the students’ stories and perspectives.

Now that the project has finished, Ms Verma wants to continue working in media and bettering her community, she expressed interest in documentary-making, citing a love for cinematography.

Ms Bongiourno said the project had been popular “We got a lot ofapplications. We hope to continue it – we just have to apply for funding.” The NEMBC also hopes to attempt the Next Generation Media project interstate.

For more information on Next Generation Media go to www.cmy.net.au/NextGenerationMedia.