Posted at 8:00 AM Jul 17, 2009
Uh, oh. What sort of bad news am I gonna have for you this week, right? Another TV anchor slighted? Another foreign journalist threatened? Can't possibly be good news. With layoffs at newspapers, news stations, radio stations, and other media outlets, it's probably gonna be something on the economy, right? Maybe a story about plagiarism? Wrong! Double wrong. This week, I'm tipping my hat to a little feel-good story from the Bronx borough.
So, a few weeks back you might have heard about a lesbian couple at a New York City public high school getting voted as "best couple" by their peers? Turns out, one of the girls, Vicky Cruz, composed a radio essay about herself and her girlfriend, Deoine Scott, for WNYC. You can listen to it below, and even though it's only about five minutes long, it'll take you right back to locker-side conversations and slow dances at the prom, albeit from (at least if you're me) a completely new perspective.
Best background line: "Oh my god, them heels is killin' me, but they are killer."
The piece comes from WNYC's "Radio Rookies" program, a project started to get teenagers in high school to tell their stories. One wonders if Vicky's grandmother still doesn't know she's a lesbian, especially after the WNYC piece, another piece Vicky wrote for The Huffington Post, an article in The Advocate, and finally a mention in Newsday. Hardest of all to explain away might be the $500 she's won from The Sidney Hillman Foundation, which is starting a monthly prize for "socially-conscious journalism" and has named Ms. Cruz its first winner. Maybe her grandmother's still none the wiser, though, in which case let's all hide those yearbooks and whistle inconspicuously.
It's a well-done radio piece. I'm also a little jealous that I never had access to the no-doubt amazing equipment given to her by the radio station. I hope more kids get this kind of opportunity, but it's good to find someone as talented and honest as Ms. Cruz among those who have. Between the WNYC and HuffPo pieces, I wouldn't be surprised if more storytelling winds up in her future.
[Note, if you happen to be a teen in the NYC area and you want to check out one of the WNYC "Radio Rookies" workshops, check here to find the one closest to you.]