YR Media’s Best Reporting Projects in 2020
There were SO many stories to tell this year, and our news feeds were non-stop. We covered COVID and Election 2020 of course, but we also tracked how our peers make ends meet in California and how AI might be changing our worlds — for good and bad.
We did a lot, and teamed up with newsrooms from Fresno to New York. Here are some of our favorite projects from the year.
For many young adults, living in the country’s most expensive state is not easy. For years, California’s economy was booming, but college students were facing rising tuition and struggling to find affordable housing. Teen suicide rates are up and lack of employment opportunities in rural areas like Merced are making it hard for some to earn a decent living. “Not So Golden” offers a glimpse into how many California young adults are making it work.
In March, as the pandemic started taking over our lives, we mapped student reactions to #coronavirus from all 50 states. We scanned Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok for posts from high school and college students, and collaborated with young journalists from around the country to curate with us. The result? An interactive map that documents what happens when our campuses shut down and how we found new normals in the weird and wild time of coronavirus.
13 young people in 12 different states came together for a collaborative editorial project of YR Media and WNYC’s Radio Rookies designed to amplify the voices of 18-to-29 year olds with the most at stake in the 2020 elections. “These issues are more than talking points for us. They are the struggles that define our communities and our futures. They are our stories, they need to be told and we want to be the ones to tell them.” With our partners at WNYC, we produced radio stories, videos and print features, not to mention a fancy website, reaching a wide national audience.
In the lead up to the most important presidential election of our lifetimes and as some stepped into the voting booth (or up to the ballot drop-off box) for the first time, YR Media covered it all, from how to protect your vote to how to spot misinformation. We also dove into issues we care about as Generation Z and Millennials, and of course all the twists and turns of this crazy election cycle.
It turns out there’s more to facial recognition than cute filters that make you look like a teddy bear or the touch-free ability to unlock your phone. We teamed up with the Stanford d.school to find out what it takes – and why you may want – to erase your face. Biased facial recognition and surveillance technologies are everywhere, so we created a tool to help you learn what it takes to dodge detection.