[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/25/ypwr_banerjee.art.jpg
caption=”Neelanjana Banerjee, 30, is editor of YO! Youth Outlook Media.”]
I remember sitting in journalism class in college and hearing the professor say, “It’s about giving a voice to the voiceless.” I never forgot it, because it seemed to me to be the purest way to describe the power of the press. Neela Banerjee is putting the idea into action as the editor of YO!
YO! stands for Youth Outlook. It’s a magazine that’s part of a non-profit media group in San Francisco. YO! content is generated mostly by young people who are coming out of “the system”- incarceration, foster care, rehabilitation facilities. “They take cameras into their neighborhoods and show us what their life is like. They are able to show some of the complexity of communities around the bay area that often gets lost in main stream media,” Neela says.
Neela compensates all journalists the same, no matter age or socio-economic background. Sometimes, though, she works with youngsters whose literacy is below par to get them to a point where they can effectively communicate their story. “Everyone one can be the media. Everyone is a journalist. We all have access to the tools to tell stories that happen around us and luckily I’m here to distribute it.”
Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview