Area youngsters producing worthwhile, meaningful projects for interactive web television station |

Area youngsters producing worthwhile, meaningful projects for interactive web television station

Stina SiegGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

CARBONDALE, Colorado – We all hear powerful figures talk with fervor about America’s youth and the future they will inherit. How many of us, however, notice that children themselves are almost never invited to the conversation?Well, Chris Tribble does. And he’s doing his best to change it.Since 2000, the longtime freelance videographer has run the True Media Foundation, a nonprofit based in Carbondale. Through real-world experience, he’s been showing the filmmaking ropes to youngsters from Rifle to Aspen. Recently, he started Be Heard!, a web television station, which is shot and edited by local teens. As the 50-year-old father of two explained it, he wants kids to know that they can create something that matters.”Media is so powerful,” he said. “And I’m giving it to you. I’m opening it up. But you have to be respectful of that power.”He was sitting in his basement editing studio at his home office. He was surrounded by his own history of video equipment (collected over the last three decades), and he was moving his hands with emphasis. In his words, he’s part of a “youth movement.”

“Youth can produce high-end, quality stuff with a purpose, with a story,” he stressed.He seems out to prove this to the world. In recent months, his students have interviewed big wigs at the Aspen Environmental Forum and the EnCana Energy Expo. As he was talking, some of the young filmmakers were upstairs and getting ready to cover Carbondale’s 5Point Film Festival. His group’s summer plans revolve around a three-month tour from Los Angeles to Denver to Minneapolis in the bright blue, Be Heard! bus. One big stop will be the Democratic National Convention in Denver, where the group has been invited by a television station from Washington, D.C. Tribble envisions a “guerrilla” approach to the convention, where his kids will interview candidates in an honest, no-holds-barred fashion. While still at the event, the kids will edit and upload their footage to their website, a bonafide web television station.Be clear, though, this is no YouTube.”It’s all about what we can do on the road that’s spontaneous, that’s off the beaten path,” Tribble said. “We’re about having destinations, but everywhere between the destinations is a story.”

While it’s natural for adults not to take youth media seriously, he felt this could change if enough respect and professionalism came from his kids. As their reputation grows, Be Heard! has been invited to larger and larger events. He could only hope that people are starting to see the value of youngsters in news.”They (kids) dig deeper, in a sense, to the soul,” he said.Greg Mills, 16, explained that as he’s grown up, he hasn’t had any sort of youth media telling him what’s “going on.” The Glenwood youngster, now in his third year in the program, seemed proud to be putting news out there for his fellow teens.”It’s just a good feeling,” he said. “I feel like I’m helping do my part.”To quote Glenwood’s Isaak Carlson, 13, “We’re kind of the youth passing it on to the youth.”One of Tribble’s sons, Auston, 13, was amazed at how, after initial skepticism, people do take them seriously. At the recent EnCana Energy Expo in Rifle, representatives “actually got into real, intelligent conversations” with the bunch.How many kids get that experience?Working in both the nonprofit organization and Tribble’s for-profit business for the last six months, Anders Carlson, 19, of Carbondale feels he’s been part of “cutting edge stuff.”

“These are people who are shaping the world we live in, and I get to interview them,” he said.He was in the middle of studying up on Yvonne Chouinard, the owner and founder of Patagonia, an outdoor clothing and gear company. Chouinard was appearing at 5Point, and he’d agreed to give only one media interview – to Be Heard! Carlson was chosen to do the talking, and it was his first time doing anything like that. He said he was definitely nervous.At almost everything they cover, the Be Heard! crew are usually the only non-adults there, he said. How can there be an environmental discussion held with absolutely no young people around to ask questions, he asked.He hoped he could help give a fresh perspective for adults. Though still sweating his Chouinard conversation, he talked a bit of philosophy. He feels his group might be coming close to its goal – to truly make a difference in the world.”I’m trying not to get any too grand ideas in my head,” he said, “but it’s always good to dream.”Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111ssieg@postindependent.comPost Independent Glenwood Springs CO Colorado

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