The Peabody Award winners were announced today and among their ranks are the Youth Radio production, “Trafficked.” This radio show aired on NPR in December of last year and featured the stories of two girls involved with child sex trafficking.
Darlene and Brittney (not their real names) grew up near Oakland, California, a town known as a sex trafficking “hot spot.”
For more than six months, Youth Radio investigated child sex trafficking in Oakland. It’s a problem not only present in poor, underdeveloped countries, but also right here in our backyard. The FBI has said more than 300,000 children and youth per year are forced into prostitution. According to the website however, perspectives from the girls themselves, who are caught up in what’s known as “the game,” are often missing from reports.
“The investigation [drew] on interviews, eyewitness reporting, and city records to piece together what life is like for girls when they become trapped by pimps — and how law enforcement continues to criminalize girls the state legally defines as sexually exploited victims.”
They also published interviews with high school students currently working in the sex trade in California and a handwritten pimp “business plan.”
Youth Radio promotes young people’s intellectual, creative, and professional growth through education and access to media. Youth Radio’s activities provide unique opportunities in social, professional and leadership development for youth. They promote media literacy/production, journalism and technology.
Eighty percent of Youth Radio participants are low-income and/or minorities. All of Youth Radio’s programs and services are free.
The Peabody Award is an annual, international distinction for excellence in radio and television broadcasting. They honor distinction and achievement within the fields of broadcast journalism, documentary film making, educational and children’s programming, and entertainment.
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