New Program Puts Power of Legislative Reporting in the Hands of Minnesota Youth


Jan. 23, 2024

Young people will be providing a new perspective in reporting on the legislature this session as part of a project between The UpTake and Bridgemakers.

“What happens at the Minnesota legislature has an outsized impact on young people, yet they are underrepresented in the process that shapes legislation – including the media reporting on legislation and issues.” said Walter Cortina of Bridgemakers.  “Young people historically don’t pay close attention to the legislative process, but they do pay attention to what other young people say. We think having young people reporting from the capitol will change that dynamic and encourage their audience to participate in the political process.”

“The UpTake and Bridgemakers want to build the power of young people to bring their unique perspective and voices to report on the issues in a way that is journalistically sound and ethical,” said Cirien Saadeh, Executive Director of The UpTake.

This unique program will offer participants the opportunity to get trained in community journalism working alongside The UpTake’s team, and a slate of community journalism mentors. The program includes the opportunity to publish at least four articles, highlighting the unique concerns and interests of young people across the Twin Cities region and the State of Minnesota. 

Participants will be trained to pitch stories, interview responsibly, understand their First Amendment rights, comprehend journalistic ethics, use various storytelling mediums, develop questions, write and edit their stories,promote their work, understand the legislative process, and more. 

Dr. Cirien Saadeh is an Arab-American educator, community organizer, and community journalist. Saadeh has served as Executive Director of The UpTake since 2019. She’s published locally, nationally, and internationally, and developed the Journalism of Color curriculum as part of her doctoral studies. She’s offered more than 250 community journalism training workshops and has mentored two dozen individuals to become community journalists. 

Bridgemakers is a movement of young leaders creating more young leaders. Together they are transforming systems to cultivate purpose, prosperity, and power. Their two key programs are Bridge 2 Success as well as Changemakers. 

The UpTake uses community journalism as a tool for racial and social justice. Based out of the Twin Cities, The UpTake is a 16-year-old community media organization and journalism training ground, with a long history of reporting on legislative and political proceedings. 

The program is currently sponsored by Bridgemakers, as well as through small donations. To support The UpTake’s work, visit GiveMN. To support Bridgemakers, folks can visit the Bridgemakers website. 

For further information, please contact Cirien Saadeh at or Lincoln Bacal at

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