Reaching Out to Teens on Their Home Ground: Online

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Pinch Me Films relaunches site to bring youth candid, socially-conscious “webisodes”

Today’s youth are the first generation to grow up with online media for virtually their entire lives. To better reach this population with honest, thought-provoking communication about social issues, Berkeley-based nonprofit Pinch Me Films has recently relaunched their website at http://www.pinchmefilms.org.

The enhanced online presence is a natural extension of Pinch Me Films’ mission. “We are a community outreach resource for youth, parents, and educators,” says Julia Robertson, the organization’s Executive Director. “We want to reach out to young people wherever their communities are located. Clearly the Web is a key part of that. While we have been successful through traditional video distribution channels, the online environment offers unique impact and relevance for our audience.”

Following their audience

Today’s teens increasingly turn to online media for entertainment, education, communication, and community. The dominance of youth-oriented social networking sites and instant messaging points to the Internet as a primary information source for young people. Moreover, teens have more trust and comfort with online media than perhaps any other group.

Corporate advertisers have wasted no time in reaching this audience, flooding the Web with highly sophisticated and targeted messaging. Like its broadcast equivalent, this advertising often depends on unrealistic, even misleading images and stereotypes regarding sexual and social issues. “The major difference we see with Web advertising is that it’s far less visible and less regulated,” comments Robertson. “The messages that are out there are often just as troubling as beer ads on TV. Wherever youth face ignorance and hype, we seek to help them wake up and look clearly at important social issues.”

Creative, candid, relevant

Pinch Me Films builds on its pioneering video work to deliver a series of “webisodes” – five to ten-minute video shorts that inform and entertain through discussions about sexual health, discrimination, the environment, education, homelessness, and other issues. This content continues their signature creative production approach, hip, street-level style, and direct involvement of young people in planning and production.

Initial webisodes include a segment on homeless teens, featuring Berkeley mayor Tom Bates, and short films made by teens as part of Pinch Me Films’ Xchange and SAVE programs. “In the news” segments will feature regular updates on current events and trends that especially affect young people.

In addition to regular video updates, the site features a library of previous webisodes; information and video archives of other Pinch Me Films projects, resources for information and communication about youth-related issues, and partnerships with like-minded organizations.

About Pinch Me Films

Pinch Me Films is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting change through documentary films, video, web content, and multimedia education programs. We help people wake up and talk candidly about important social issues that are obscured by silence, ignorance, or hype.

Media Contacts:     

Donna Lehman 770-565-7275

Julia Robertson    510-525-5078

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Donna Lehman
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