Courtesy of {Young}ist.

During my time as an undergraduate working at the McGill Daily, our publication's work was consistently well received despite an enduring and underlying sense of amazement that students could actually produce hard-hitting, high-quality journalism. Despite the fact that we were the ones on the ground, in demonstrations and in meetings, literally and ideologically on the front lines, older readers often seemed surprised when we nabbed exclusive interviews, presented new angles, and broke unique stories.

After years of working in student media, graduation posed a problem of dispossession. Unless I wanted to focus on relentless self-promotion as an independent journalist or struggle to afford an unpaid internship, I felt like there was no place for me in the digital media landscape, a sentiment that many of my peers share.

There's certainly no dearth of political consciousness among young people: we are a driving force behind organizing around immigration, sexual violence, racial justice, divestment campaigns, educational access, and a vast range of other movements. But without youth-run media or relevant platforms, those movements all too often get lost in translation. They are overshadowed by shallow narratives of narcissism and technological obsession that lack authentic youth perspective.

In response, a group of media organizers, myself included, decided that instead of waiting for a platform, we would create one for ourselves. This platform is {Young}ist, a people-powered website designed to offer space to young writers, artists, activists, organizers, and thinkers. Our goal is to provide a way for young people globally to explain our identities, discuss visions for change, detail struggles and politicization and experiences, and connect with peers, building a network of communication in order to build power and talk back to the media that excludes us.

Our staff and contributors write essays and poetry, take photographs, conduct interviews, draw, design, tweet, perform, occupy, and chant. We create projects like short films about difficulties in the daily life of a Hispanic teenager, and analysis of organizational strategies through the lens of involvement in the Cooper Union occupation.

{Young}ist has begun to publish this work on a Tumblr, but we see this as just a preliminary step; we're envisioning a website that we build ourselves, with the ability to create a community of active and engaged contributors and users. We want to support the development of a media literate audience, and provide leadership opportunities for young media activists. Everyone benefits from the growth of a young population which can articulate and communicate its understanding of political forces and promote the movements they believe in.

We have begun to create a {Young}ist community on Facebook and Twitter. But in order for this effort to succeed, we need the support of a community that understands the value of young people-powered media. We’re turning to you to join us, and help us raise the funds to continue this project. {Young}ist isn’t a pipe dream. It’s a necessity.