Community Media for Change is a student-led journalism and storytelling conference hosted at the International School of Beijing. The mission of the conference centers on the power of media to spark empathy, build community, and create positive change in our challenging world. 

In collaboration with the Innovation Project, a global student-centered collaborative project focusing on innovation and sustainability, the ISB Futures Public Radio media team is pinpointing conference efforts on the following Sustainable Development Goal Targets:

5-B: Promote empowerment of women through technology
9-C: Universal access to information and communications technology
16-10: Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms
17-17: Encourage effective partnerships

Our main conference Keynote Speakers are Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick of the acclaimed Out of the Blocks podcast, originally from Baltimore, Maryland: Out of the Blocks is a uniquely immersive listening experience that emerges from a mosaic of voices and soundscapes on the streets of Baltimore. A custom-tailored score colors and connects this tapestry of stories hidden in plain sight.  Aaron and Wendel will speak about the importance of empathy in media, while spending a week at ISB as resident media experts, activists, and innovators.

In collaboration with Inspire Citizens Public Radio, a hub for international student and school public media platforms, Out the Blocks is expanding internationally with student journalists around the world including Beijing; Prishtina, Kosovo; Seoul; and Abuja, Nigeria.

Our second keynote is Anthony Kuhn, NPR's international correspondent based in Beijing: Anthony Kuhn has taken an interest in China's rich traditional culture and its impact on the current day. He has recorded the sonic calling cards of itinerant merchants in Beijing's back alleys, and the descendants of court musicians of the Tang Dynasty. Anthony will speak on news reporting and integrity in media.

Another distinguished conference contributor is Marcus Ryter, an award winning journalist who has worked across the whole spectrum of news and current affairs programmes for over 25 years. Starting career at the BBC, he has commissioned and executive produced films for BBC1, BBC2, BBC4 and BBC Scotland including factual, popular history documentaries and consumer documentaries.

Marcus is currently the Chief International Editor of CGTNNews Digital overseeing English language digital content of the Chinese national broadcaster. Previous to that he was the Head of Current Affairs at BBC Scotland for almost ten years and oversaw the coverage of the independence referendum.

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He has overseen some of the BBC’s most difficult and sensitive investigations including an award winning investigation into drugs in sport, an award winning BBC Panorama (the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme) into a possible miscarriage of justice titled “The innocent serial-killer” and he has been responsible for innumerable undercover investigations. He has a particular interest in journalistic ethics and designed the BBC’s introduction to editorial policy for new joiners to the organization in 2014.

Marcus also champions diversity in the media and was the Chair of the Royal Television Society Diversity Committee for over five years – and is seen as instrumental as getting diversity officially written into the BBC’s Charter after he gave evidence at the Parliamentary Select Committee hearing on the issue.

Friday May 25 Schedule:  DownLoad 

To Access Workshop Descriptions
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Saturday May 26 Schedule:
Out of the Blocks Global Youth Edition
Off Campus experience and Production

8:30 Morning keynotes: 
Sabrina L, FPR
Aaron Henkin, Out of the Blocks

9:00 Out of the Blocks collaborative task overview / team organization
OOTB production organization and task

9:30-12:00 Out of the Blocks: Capturing footage
Flower Market
Local community housing
Shine Hills
Pinnacle Plaza

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-1:20 Post-production planning keynote
Evan L, FPR
Wendell Patrick, Out of the Blocks

1:15-3:30 Out of the Blocks post-production work
Wendel Patrick, OOTB
Jason Moran, Moran Creative Los Angeles

3:30-4:00 Gallery walk of footage

4:00 Closing ceremonies and keynote
Shawn Q, FPR

Student Executive Committee

Christina:  Event Operations Manager and Conference Planner
Judy:  Workshops Director and Manager
Lyndon:  Exhibition Coordinator
Evan:  Exhibition Coordinator

Bernard:  Activities Planner
Jay:  Web Design and Video Editer
Hannah:  Food and Hospitality
Jeff:  Associate Event Planner
Paul:  Associate Event Planner
Harry:  Marketing Coordinator
Emily:  Graphic Design
Anannya:  Graphic Design
Amanda: Registration Coordinator
Sabrina:  Keynote Director
Shawn:  Associate Event Operations Manager

Mr Sostak:  Teacher Mentor
Mr Moniz:  Teacher Mentor
Ms Williams: 
Mr Parker:  Activities Organization and Logistical Support

All the members of Futures Public Radio

Why does Community Media matter?

Community media changes student and community mindsets through building critical thinking, perspective, empathy, access to Sustainable Development Goals, and authentic literacy through investigative journalism. 

Below, Futures Public Radio's student journalists and mentors, Steve Sostak and Aaron Moniz, share their vision for why we can and must integrate authentic journalism into all levels of schools in our complex world.

The student voices are the highlight of this presentation, illuminating 21st century, deep thinking skills and their journalism pieces that have sparked them towards citizenship, recognizing the power of storytelling, and finding a genuine willingness to actively connect to their worlds to make an impact.




For More Information

Steve Sostak: