By MARIA LUIZA LAGO
Youth International Journalism (YJI) is a non-profit organization blog that focuses on journalism where any student can write, from ages 12 to 24 years old. More than 200 students write for the blog about various topics, whether something is happening in their hometowns or all around the world.
I had a personal experience with YJI, joining the organization in 2014. My professor at journalism college at the time was the ambassador from Brazil for YJI and connected me with the main editors in Connecticut. More than just writing about local and national issues of Brazil, I was able to meet students from all around the world, not only Journalism students but from many other majors and interests. I became friends with Americans, Nigerians and Pakistanis through the organization and it helped me improve my own writing and see the writing of others and the issues they addressed.
In YJI, I could write about a movie review until the latest breaking news that was happening on the country. The freedom to write something newsworthy is very wide and it had stimulated me to write more. Each YJI member receives directions of what to write and how to write, so the responsibilities of committing with the truth and other journalistic ethics can still remain on the text. The news reporting is done exactly the same as professional journalists, although the people that write the stories do not necessarily have to be professionals.
What I think is the most interesting thing about YJI is that you can not only write for the blog, but you can also draw a cartoon about something that is going on, or even send photos about a certain topic. You don’t have to be a working journalist to write for the blog and that opens a lot of possibilities to writers who want to publish their stories and have an experience under the press laws.