Behind the Story: Reporting from Parkland

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Youth Radio’s reporters and editors are doing incredible work, covering the events in Parkland and the reaction around the country. Knowing we have your support, and that we’re all in this together, is making a tremendous difference in our ability to build capacity and truly grow YR into a National Network. I want to take a moment to share a behind-the-scenes look at our reporting in Parkland and introduce you to the talented people doing this work.

Executive Producer: I’m particularly inspired by Rebecca Martin, who put together an amazing team on the ground in Florida. She then worked tirelessly for a week to bring their story to NPR’s All Things Considered for broadcast today, along with photos and behind-the-scenes content at

Field Producer: Because of relationships Rebecca’s kept up over the years, our former L.A. Bureau Chief and Youth Radio member,  Heidi Pickman, agreed to go to Parkland as a YR Producer. When we asked, she literally took the next flight out – an overnight – and then worked the whole next day (and week) amidst the trauma and activism that now defines Parkland teens.

YR’s Unique Access: Though she lives in CA now, Heidi grew up in the Parkland area and went to high school nearby. She returned home to FL, with the commitment to support local teens in telling their own stories.  She was able to get incredible access to the living rooms and youth gathering spots that other media could not. In Parkland, much of the organizing is happening in homes that are part of gated communities.

Youth Reporter: Heidi recruited 15-year-old Gabe Glassman to be YouthRadio’s reporter.

Alternately shy or on stage as a sophomore drama student, Gabe also rose to the challenge and reported a unique story of what his friends are going through – both as activists and in mourning for the loss of friends in many cases and the loss of an innocence for all.

Back in Oakland: YR Senior Digital Producer, Teresa Chin sourced teens via Twitter before Heidi and Gabe hit the ground and supported on audio production/intake and scripting, working with the team here, making things beautiful for the web.

The Youth Network we are building is about amplifying the stories of young people around the country and highlighting their powerful activism – while too many public officials fail. The impact of these stories depends on a safe environment that is based in youth development and trauma-informed practices.

Thank you for your support in making this possible.

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