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Aspiring journalists focus on race, health inequities in unique camp

The ThreeSixty Journalism camp virtually paired high school students with professional mentors.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

ST PAUL, Minn. — Aspiring young journalists are getting the opportunity to tell stories surrounding important issues like race and health care this summer.

The ThreeSixty Journalism program at the University of St. Thomas recently teamed up with the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota for its fourth broadcast journalism camp for high school students.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's camp was conducted as a virtual Digital Media Arts Camp.

High school students from a variety of backgrounds were paired with professional mentors with experience at several Twin Cities news organizations.

For this year's projects, students were tasked with creating content about health inequities.

“Systemic racism is a driver of health inequities in our state and nation, and the disproportionate rates of COVID-19 infection in Black, Indigenous and communities of color further underscore that stark reality,” Dr. Mark Steffen, chief medical officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, said in a statement. “We need to address racism as a public health crisis and work to support community-led solutions to health inequities. A huge part of this is changing the dominant narrative on health and empowering young diverse journalists as storytellers.”

“We are excited to offer a new camp to advanced ThreeSixty students that gives them an opportunity to explore different types of digital content that probably feels more relevant to their generation than traditional media,” ThreeSixty Executive Director Chad Caruthers said in a statement. “It also provides a chance for local media professionals to connect with the next generation of diverse storytellers and help them share their voices with the community.”

The students' stories from the 2020 camp can be viewed online on the ThreeSixty Journalism website.

FROM 2019: Aspiring journalist interviews rising gymnastics star at annual journalism camp

FROM 2018: Young reporters team up with local news on public health