What filming at SBS studios reminded me about young people and the media

As a youth worker, it’s not everyday I get to bring a group of young people to a major TV channel’s filming studio. Here's what I learned.

As a youth worker, it’s not everyday that I get to bring a group of young people to a major TV channel’s filming studio.

But that’s exactly what happened a few months ago, when MYAN NSW received a request from SBS (Special Broadcasting Service). 

SBS wanted to film MYAN’s Youth Ambassadors on what respectful and supportive relationships look like while navigating their social lives. These videos would be part of an online resource kit for teachers.

The aim? To spark nuanced conversations among students about power dynamics at school, social pressure and about the importance of seeking support.

The videos were split into 5 topics:

    • Giving support and seeking help
    • Who rules the school?
    • Respectful relationships
    • Power dynamics
    • Striving for an equitable world

From this experience at SBS studios, I learnt a few things. When it comes to supporting young people to speak to the media, remember to:

Commit your time and staff
For MYAN NSW, it meant that I was accompanying young people at the SBS filming studio for all the hours necessary, even if it took up the whole day. Resourcing your time and staff to be with young people goes a long way to ensure they feel comfortable and present their best selves.

Find ways to say “you are welcome here and we appreciate you!”
SBS made sure that young people were fed (this is important!). Their outreach team also answered any questions about the filming process and product. We even got SBS merchandise as thank you gifts! It’s common for the media not to compensate young people for their time, so these thoughtful gestures made the Youth Ambassadors feel valued.

Advocate for young people to see the product before it’s published
This is not always possible, especially with media opportunities for written articles. This time, the Youth Ambassadors got to view the final product before it was published and were given 24 hours to provide feedback.

Finally, if you’d like to see the finished videos, you can view them on SBS Learn’s website. 

Special thank you to MYAN NSW Youth Ambassadors, Angelica Ojinnaka, Cosmin Luca, Maria Domina Augustine, Naz Sharifi & Shahida Haydari and MYAN Multicultural Youth Worker, Abdallah Altibi. 

The MYAN Youth Ambassador Program connects, mentors and supports young people from migrants and refugee backgrounds. We are always open for more young people to join! You can find out more by heading to the Youth Ambassadors Program.