Journalism students unveil The Blank Generation

Journalism students unveil The Blank Generation

Students in Donica Mensing and Vanessa Vancour’s News Studio course at the Reynolds School of Journalism and Center for Advanced Media Studies have revealed their semester-long project, “The Blank Generation,” a multi-media reporting project exploring the lives of Millennials in their early twenties as they work to enter land a professional job in an unstable economy.

“The purpose of the Blank Generation project is to humanize and make real the uncertain future faced by young people who are living in economically and educationally divided neighborhoods, in a changing economy,” Mensing said.

Mensing noted the project was designed to further student’s professional experience, namely one that would be presentable to future employers to showcase their diverse skills.

The project explores the lives of eight subjects that were selected from each zip code in the Reno-Sparks area and interviewed about their experiences going to school and getting a job in an unstable economy.

“People more and more are segregated based on their neighborhood or zip code,” said Elliot Parker, an economics professor  and director of the University’s Core Curriculum office at the University of Nevada, Reno. “So instead of being a wealthy man in a small town which you grew up in, wealthy people tend to move into neighborhoods with other wealthy people.”

The venture is particularly notable because Reno is plagued with the same problems found in many other American cities. The growing gap in wealth distribution across the United States can be seen on a local level in neighborhoods segregated by income.

The project started in January 2014 and culminated in a website featuring interviews with Nevada students, single parents and blue-collar workers, among others. Journalism students produced long-form features, photos, video, audio pieces and established a social media presence. They presented their project to Reynolds School faculty and staff as well as local media outlets at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, May 8.

The Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism and Center for Advanced Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno is a dynamic, student- centered program with a focus on the future. The Reynolds School has invested $8 million in facility renovations, launched the Nevada Media Alliance—a multiplatform news partnership with regional media—and developed our Center for Advanced Media Studies to promote scholarship and media innovation. Additionally, The Reynolds School is home to the award-winning Integrated Marketing Communications competition team and is the only journalism school in the country to partner with National Public Radio, NPR, on its NextGen multimedia boot camp.

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