“Our Time”: New Youth Radio Program Gives Teens a Voice

“Now is the time to either step up, or sit out.” This is the recurring theme of a compelling new youth radio program entitled, “Our Time: Teens and Politics,” the third collaboration between Generation PRX, a social network for youth radio producers, and KUOW. In this “One whole hour of radio stories made by teenagers,” teens candidly discuss a diverse range of topics including the Iraq war, global warming, and meetings with prominent politicians. The following excerpts by teen radio reporters serve as excellent examples of this compelling new youth special:

Lena tries to make sense of the relationship between the Iraq War and her personal beliefs on the value of protesting through an interview with a committed protester:

“Personal connections, friendships, loss… are often what galvanize people into taking action… But is that what it’s going to take? Do we have to wait for everyone to have a friend step on a landmine before we really organize or mobilize against war? Or will I, or will we all, continue to sleep in on Saturday mornings and rely on (protestors like) Alan Wolf to do it for us?”

Greg shares his experience of attending an extravagant dinner with former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich:

“It was like the Matrix, because in that movie the main character finds out that everything he thought was real was just a perception of real. He gets taken to a world which is parallel but very separate. I feel we’re just trapped in our own matrices, and the only way out is to realize that we need to understand other perspectives. I was there to see what they were all about, but I could never see them trying to figure out my life.”

By promoting an atmosphere of civic engagement and critical, political analysis among America’s youth, GPRX challenges pundits who argue that we are “Generation Q” or the “Quiet Americans.” Although political participation and civic duties have increasingly been transferred to the online sphere, initiatives by Digital Natives such as Our Time are neither to be underestimated nor ignored.

Keep up the great work GPRX!