Pilot Study: Greene County: A Picture of Health from Our Youth.

Youth citizen journalism came to Greene County, Georgia, in May 2009. That's when a Grady College team began teaching a small group of middle-school students how to research, report and produce a 30-minute documentary portrait of health in their own family, neighborhood and school. Their film will have a public premier when school resumes in the fall.

When the state translated county-level health statistics into letter grades, Greene County got a D. The student reporters will not only explore the health challenges faced by their family and friends, but ask what remedies might be possible.

This seven-week experiment in youth citizen journalism is a partnership between Greene County Public Schools and UGA's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The young journalists were coached in research and video production by four Grady College professors and three graduate students, all of them knowledgeable about health communication or health and medical journalism.

This pilot study is supported by the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism, and data gathered here will be incorporated into research proposals aimed at expanding community health journalism to additional Georgia counties.

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