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Youth reporters investigate how minimum wage, gender and social media affect politics

As Democrats and Republicans seek out the young adult vote, PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs looked at issues surrounding elections in their home states, from a bill on the minimum wage in Arkansas to the role of gender and social media in local politics.

Arkansas youth vote to raise the minimum wage

Today, Arkansans ages 18 and older will get the chance to let their voices be heard by voting ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to Issue 5. If passed, the measure would increase the state’s minimum wage from $6.25 to $7.50 per hour on January 1, 2015; to $8 on January 1, 2016; and to $8.50 per hour on January 1, 2017.

This video was produced by students at Searcy High School in Arkansas. Mentor support provided by Jacki Romey and the Arkansas Educational Television Network.

Will social media change Texas politics?

Following her 2013 filibuster against abortion restrictions, state senator Wendy Davis became a social media phenom. A year later, her campaign for the Texas governor’s mansion hoped to translate that attention into a win for Democrats.

Youth reporter Eva Guevara went to a Davis fundraiser in the small town of Marfa, Texas to find out how young voters are getting political information. After an evening of speeches and toasts resulting in quotes and selfies trending across the West Texas Twitter, Instagram and Facebook news feeds, Guevara talked to Davis herself, who said that if young people “don’t cry out and demand that we change things and that we reconsider how we are governing, then we never will.”

This story was produced Eva Guevara with the KTRS Youth Media Project at Marfa Public Radio. Mentor support provided by Sally Beauvais.

Does gender matter in 2014?

Iowa is one of four states to never have a female senator, representative or governor. Will 2014 be the year?

This video was produced by students at Shenandoah High School in Shenandoah, Iowa.

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