The US-Russia Youth TV Bridge (YTVB) is SEE’s youth media flagship project. YTVB is an international platform for increasing cooperation between US and Russian high school students through joint storytelling on social issues. Competitively selected high school students engage in virtual and in-person collaboration to learn about digital media space in both countries and produce a series of broadcast-style videos on a range of social topics relevant for Russia and the US. Through specialized training and virtual production of content on such topics, YTVB is equipping young people in the US and Russia with skills that will help create a more inclusive and diverse space in online media. SEE has been implementing YTVB since 2016 and anchors just wrapped up production on its fifth season, which ran from January to August 2021.
That’s a wrap on Season 5 of Youth TV Bridge!
The fifth season of SEE’s Youth TV Bridge brought together students from Florida and Siberia, Russia. To kick off the season, anchors homed in on the “pink tax”. Then, in Episode 2, they turned their attention to disability and inclusion, highlighting the inspiring stories of two talented individuals with disabilities, one in the U.S. and one in Russia, who have found ample success in spite of their disabilities. Finally, Episode 3 was dedicated to the pandemic’s impacts on the environment, especially how masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) have ended up in places like beaches and waterways, polluting those natural habitats and endangering wildlife. To conclude the episode, the anchors list a few simple things everyone can do to help. Check out these three episodes below!
- Episode 1 – The Pink Tax
- Episode 2 – Disability and Inclusion
- Episode 3 – The Impacts of the Pandemic on the Environment
Missed the previous seasons of Youth TV Bridge? Catch up on all the episodes from previous seasons on the SEE YouTube channel.
Want to be a part of YTVB?
Apply to be a part of SEE’s Youth TV Bridge project for an opportunity to participate in a five-month virtual media lab with media professionals from Russia and the US, and for an ultimate chance to participate in an in-person international media exchange!
Are you in high school in Russia and passionate about using videos to highlight social issues that you and other young people care about? Do you want to hone your media literacy skills and gain perspectives from US peers? Apply to participate in SEE’s Youth TV Bridge by answering our online questionnaire and submitting a 60-second video package, and your team could win a spot in our Virtual Media Lab and receive an opportunity to travel to a third country to meet with and learn from media professionals and visit independent news organizations!
During this season’s lab, which will run from October 21, 2021 to March 31, 2022, Russian students will work with their home studio team and collaborate with their peers from other Russian studios to enhance their leadership and media literacy skills. The teams will be tasked with various assignments, including creating several socially oriented media pieces while employing new skills and techniques. Upon conclusion of the virtual lab, the studio team with the highest homework and assignment score will be selected to participate in an in-person international media exchange. This exchange trip will take place in the spring of 2022, depending on pandemic conditions.
Season 6 of YTVB, unlike past seasons, will be geared more exclusively toward Russian students, who will sharpen their existing media skills. Throughout their time at the virtual media lab students will have an opportunity to connect with US peers, including some past anchors, as well as US and Russian media professionals and guest speakers.
Any US students/past anchors and participants interested in connecting with Russian media students and taking on the role of featured guest are encouraged to submit an interest form here.
STEP 1: CHECK FOR ELIGIBILITY AND REVIEW PARTICIPATION RULES
- The application is open to Russian high school video production teams affiliated with a school or private media studio. Teams must be composed of one teacher, who will act as the team’s mentor and will supervise the team’s production efforts and four students in grades 9-11. Teams are encouraged to consider gender balance when applying to this opportunity.
- Team members listed in the application form must be committed to participating in all virtual media lab sessions carried out bi-weekly over the course of five months from October 21, 2021 to March 31, 2022 and must be prepared to participate in travel to a third country for an in-person media exchange and meet-and-greet with independent media outlets in spring 2022 if selected. No substitution of team members after the submission of application and participation in the media lab will be permitted.
- Teams must produce original video content specifically for this opportunity. All team members must appear in the video and must creatively make a statement about one or several social issues their team is passionate about. Alternatively, your video may show how everyone on your team collectively worked towards solving a social issue in your community. More information on the video requirements is provided below.
- Submitted videos should not exceed 60 seconds. We reserve the right to disqualify submissions exceeding 60 seconds at our own discretion. The more concise, the better!
- All videos must follow the Youth TV Bridge Video Submission Requirements and Use of Copyrighted Materials. Please make sure that all material and ideas are your own original work.
- By submitting the application, your team grants SEE permission to use your video for program promotion purposes.
- Applications must be submitted by September 30, 2021 at 11:59 PM EDT (October 1, 2021 at 6:59 MSK). Late submissions will not be considered.
- Failure to meet any of the above guidelines may result in disqualification.
STEP 2: CREATE YOUR VIDEO AND UPLOAD IT TO YOUTUBE
Teams must create an original 60-second video. The video should include a brief statement from each team member (appearance of a teacher is optional) about one social issue the team has identified or multiple social issues that each team member is concerned about. As an alternative, teams may also choose to depict themselves in action collectively working towards solving a social issue in their community. The video should explain the significance of the issue and suggest how young media students from Russia can make a difference about the issues by amplifying their voices through media pieces created as part of this project.
To make sure your video meets the selection criteria and stands out, please carefully read the information provided in Step 4.
Be Sure to Upload Your Video to YouTube Before Submitting an Online Application
Before completing the online application, please check to make sure that you have uploaded your team’s 60-second video to YouTube. When uploading your video, please follow these instructions:
- Upload your video to a YouTube account. Set the video to “unlisted” and generate a link to the video to include in your online application form. Visit this page for additional YouTube upload instructions.
- Use this format for the title of your video file: “SCHOOL/STUDIO’S NAME YTVB S6”. For example, “School #125 YTVB S6”.
- Make sure the link works and include it in your team’s online application form.
- Your video should not exceed 60 seconds.
STEP 3: SUBMIT ONLINE APPLICATION
After your team has created the 60-second video and uploaded it to YouTube as unlisted, you must fill out an online application form on Eurasia Foundation’s (EF) Grant Lifecycle Management (GLM) portal. Only one application per team (one teacher and four students) is needed.
When accessing EF’s GLM portal, the applicant must first create an account on behalf of the team by following the instructions on the right of the login page linked above. If an applicant already has an account, they may simply log in without creating a new account.
After registering on EF’s grant portal, you will need to enter an access code to view the application form. Please use the following access code to access the application form: SEEYMEDIA.
Things to Keep in Mind When Filling out EF’s Online Application
When filling out the application, teams must answer several questions, including a brief statement of interest listing the social issues you and your teammates are concerned about and describing how participation in YTVB will help you become better storytellers. You should also explain why your team believes that media can be used as a platform for speaking out about social issues. Examples of past media projects that illustrate your commitment to solving social issues are welcomed. Alternatively, your team may explain how participating in YTVB will help you launch a new media project or bring positive change about a given issue. Detailed instructions regarding what should be included in the statement of interest are provided in the online application form.
If you encounter any issues with accessing the online application form, please contact [email protected] for assistance. We strongly recommend that you start working on your application as early as possible. If you encounter technical issues with your application and contact us less than 48 hours before the final deadline, we might not be able to assist you in time.
STEP 4: JUDGING AND EVALUATION
Successful applicants should highlight their team’s ability to do the following when writing their statements of interest and answering questions in the online application form:
- Applying teams must have experience creating media and producing news packages for local high school or online communities. Prior experience creating content on social issues is preferred.
- Teams must demonstrate interest in social issues in their application form and video. You will be asked to name at least three social issues that deserve to be discussed among your peers and addressed in media.
- Teams must demonstrate intent to use media and leadership skills gained while participating in this project beyond their immediate involvement in YTVB.
- Teams must demonstrate interest in using digital media and social media platforms to garner support from young people or communities concerning a given social issue (any past examples of such work are a plus).
- Students must explain how participation in YTVB will help them better prepare for a career as independent media professionals.
- Students must demonstrate any prior leadership experience (either collectively as a team or by focusing on one student) or their overall interest in learning how to be effective leaders and work on a team with people from different backgrounds.
In evaluating the applicants’ videos, judges will be looking for content that makes a strong connection to the topic, captures and keeps the viewer’s attention, and showcases your team’s ability to most fully take advantage of an international media exchange. The videos will be evaluated based on these points:
- Camera Presence/Talent
- Entertainment Value/Emotion
- Closeness to Topic
Application window closes Thursday, September 30 at 11:59 PM EDT. We look forward to receiving your video entries!