The Youth Media Summit 2014 held at the BFI on 6th August, brought 400 Youth Media entrepreneurs together for a spectacular event, really depicting what Youth Media is all about. The event highlighted the tremendous hard work young people do to follow their dreams and aspirations, in order to reach their ultimate goal. It was announced that the Summit had a combined audience of nearly 4 million, thus clearly showing how youth media just keeps on expanding. The Youth Media Summit had a range of different entrepreneurs from different youth media platforms such as; spoken word artists, fashion bloggers, radio presenters, writers, graphic designers and many more.

Youth media is certainly a field attracting many young people to join, as it is giving them a voice they cannot share with the mainstream media. They’re not able to share it because they are not given the chance to have a voice. Youth media is a platform giving them that voice. Talking about the issues that matter to them and those often underreported by the mainstream media.

A youth journalist from Rife Magazine, Shanai (21) believes that we as youths need to change the way the outside world sees us. “It is imperative, that we as young people have a role in how our stories are told.” Youth media is giving a huge voice to the youth, and it is continuing to grow and grow. The Summit highlighted the hard work and how inspirational and huge youth media is. It allows young people to really change the negative labels attached to the youth and allows them to make something really great of themselves.

Yomi (19) an editor at Birthday Magazine, also made a statement about this. “Young people need the opportunity to speak for themselves, especially when they are so heavily portrayed by adults. Giving them the opportunity to self- define is essential and exactly what youth media does. We need much more of it.” The Youth Media Summit was all about this. Applauding youth media contributors for all they have done, and how far they have come. To continue with the hard work is essential and it will continue to expand.

The Youth Media Summit held talks from a range of different media platforms, including the mainstream media. The Career in Media talk at the summit was presented by Remel London; a youth Radio and TV presenter and had Madeline Ferguson from the BBC, Priscilla Baffour from  Channel 4 and Ruth Palmer from Creative Skillset on the panel, discussing what a career in media is about and possible ways to get into it. The panel discussion was a great way to hold a talk with these women in the mainstream media, allowing questions from those parts of youth media organisations.

It was a day full of inspirations with talks from those who started getting involved with youth media work from a young age themselves. Aaron Roach Bridgeman from SBTV presented the event, with another member from SBTV also present at the Youth Media Awards to share a talk about the huge strengths of youth media. Liam Tootill from SBTV, gave a keynote speech and inspired youth media platforms to “stay committed to making youth media”, as he argues that it allows the youth to continue to have a great voice outside of the mainstream media.

The Youth Media Summit also invited a range of different speakers to share their stories about their journeys into youth media, and those who founded some of the youth media platforms to also share what drove them to start their own company. Matteo Bergamini (22) shares his story about how ShoutOut came about, the reasons why he was so keen to start his own youth media organisation.

Youth Media platforms are growing hugely on the internet and with many young people themselves spending such a huge amount of time on the internet and social media websites, it is showing how it is allowing more to become involved in youth media this way and just how successful it can be. YouTube is a huge source where much of youth media begins and has opened up new ways for young people’s voices to be heard. Word On The Curb, is a platform which allows young people to showcase their talents through spoken word and to talk about issues such as current affairs.

The Youth Media Summit 2014 was about inspiring the youth to create more content, build their youth organisations, network and to carry on working hard in youth media. Youth Media just shows young people in such a positive light and continues to do so with the combined hard work and efforts from all these youth media platforms.