Journalists Take on Capitol Reporting

Capitol Reporting Winter News Team
Twenty ThreeSIxty reporters covered important legislative issues impacting young people in Minnesota at Winter News Team: Capitol Edition.

Twenty ThreeSixty journalists can now add political reporting to their reporting toolbox after completing Winter News Team: Capitol Edition. The workshop was framed around the question: How can democracy work for young people?

Over four weeks, high school journalists were tasked with legislative reporting, covering policy issues that explored how democracy works for young people. From school resource officers to the bonding bill to ethnic studies and the trans refuge bill, youth took to the halls of the State Capitol, interviewing both elected officials and community advocates.

This was one of ThreeSixty’s most ambitious workshops to date.

“ThreeSixty reporters learned that democracy needs communicators to function, and more young people need to be part of the political process,” said Program Manager Theresa Malloy Lemickson. “Our students thought critically about how these legislative issues impact young people and asked important questions to legislators and advocates with that in mind. I am beyond impressed by their professionalism and eager to share their stories.”

Wonser Mongrue said the workshop highlighted the power individuals have to raise awareness on an issue that matters to them.

“It takes a passionate individual to identify areas of crisis,” she said, “whether or not it’s hyper-focused by the media, it is with you to make a difference.”

Charlie Quick saw how respectful and ethical reporting is an important skill for journalists reporting on political matters.

“I learned about the importance of building relationships and trust with legislators, while holding them accountable,” he said.

The first day kicked off with a presentation from Fatima Moore of Firefly Advocacy who explained how the legislative process works. Students worked with professional journalists to prepare for their interviews at the Capitol with assignments based on social justice issues they had interest in covering.

Then, they spent President’s Day, Feb. 19, at the Capitol, conducting interviews and seeing democracy in action. Students showed up on a day off of school, dressed to impress and ready to report.

The experience was followed by a Saturday editing session to add final touches to stories with editors.

Dylan Leung shared how his editor showed him new ways to approach his story.

“It was interesting seeing how different this article was from the ones I would traditionally write,” he said, “and I really liked how great the product turned out!”

ThreeSixty students reflected on what they could take away from this experience and share with their peers and families. Those reflections will also be shared soon. All Q&A with advocates and legislators will be published on ThreeSixty’s platform and other local media platforms in the coming weeks.

Student earned an equity stipend for completing the workshop.

Take a look at the professionals who volunteered and made the experience possible.

Click to read student stories below!

Bonding Bill and DNR

Housing for Homeless Youth

Teen Mental Health

Legalizing Cannabis

Voter Pre-Registration

Transgender Refuge State

School Resource Officers

Health Insurance for All

Expansion of Voting Rights

Ethnic Studies

Student Reflections