Neelanjana Banerjee

[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

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19 Responses to Neelanjana Banerjee

  1. Minal Hajratwala says:

    Go Neela! Need another several paragraphs to mention Hyphen magazine, the South Asian poetry anthology, your own amazing writing, and all the other wonderful things you do.🙂

    xox
    Minal

  2. Same ol' says:

    Great just what this country needs is another liberal journalist… Couldn’t you do something that helps this country? Hey maybe we need another community organizer, that worked out well…

  3. Thomas Mathew,oklahoma city.Ok says:

    Dear Neela,
    Have you ever considered being a voice to the voiceless, to the poor Dalits in Sambalpur, Orissa,where hundreds of homes and churches have been burned, hundreds of people have been cruelly killed by fanatic Hindus. It would a great service to humanity. I widh you could do a documentary on the violence there.

  4. art says:

    loved the name – YO!

    So hip! And great idea. Yeah, everybody’s a journalist; some just get paid to do it…🙂

  5. Jennifer says:

    Neela,
    Your originality and spirit make you a credit to your generation. Don’t let anyone tell you that what you do doesn’t matter. This country needs more minds like you. Keep it up!

    Same ol,
    What do YOU do to help the country?

  6. Brian Lee says:

    Recidivism is a huge problem with young/juvenile offenders, because once they are released from the system they have no where to turn to but the streets and resume a life of criminal behavior…

    with that said, Are you worried that having these young people reporting so candidly on the rough neighborhoods they grew up in will cast an even larger shadow on the kids still struggling to survive in those neighborhoods?

  7. abeer says:

    bravo neela. we need more people to speak and help others to do the same.

  8. Robin Sukhadia Tablapusher says:

    You inspire us all! the youth you work with and empower are doing amazing things with their talents. It has been incredible to see the quality and impact of their work…your leadership has made this possible!

  9. alex says:

    Hi Dear Neela, we are a french company (www.egr-renovation.com) just wanted to say bravo,don’t stop and we are all with you
    wish you all the best in the world
    ciao

  10. hughes says:

    Hat’s off. Well done, as we know that “Hard work always pays off”, after a long struggle with sincere efforts it’s done.

    camper trailers

  11. Basheer Elevanchalil says:

    Journalism is a great work when you do it the right way with sincerely.
    Go ahead and do something for the people who are waiting for sincere journalists. Be sincere to yourself and to the world.

    Good luck!

    Basheer Elevanchalil
    http://www.kaamilsms.com

  12. maria says:

    good idea! it’s a great thing to give voice to the voiceless, specially if they are young people who have to find their way of life.
    http://www.ctlex.it

  13. RB says:

    Great work that you are doing. I do wonder about your choice of where to do it. With San Francisco containing so many do-gooder types, it seems like the population is already well-served by non-profits. Wouldn’t it be more useful to do something similar in, say, St. Louis, or Tampa, or anywhere where social services are much poorer than in the liberal Bay Area.

  14. nezua says:

    Neela, you rock. Keep on with your vision and your heart and your power. The world is better off for all of it!!

  15. didisona says:

    great work! you do make us proud time and again.keep it up!

  16. prakash` says:

    u r very nice i like

  17. Bangali says:

    Great Neela, go more.

    Like you, I am a Bangali too – right from West Bengal – so great to see an young Bangali rise so high at such a young age.

    Cheers!

  18. Peyton says:

    YO! Sounds so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. ZeldaSuperstar says:

    That. Is. So. Cool!!! Her idea is so great! I can’t believe she has already started making a difference at such a young age! Maybe her story will inspire others!

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