Ahead of Election Day, PBS NewsHour asks America’s teens, “What would you tell the next president?”


Washington, D.C.  (November 4, 2016) — Personal attacks and scandals have dominated the 2016 election, but America’s young people want to hear about the issues.

PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs challenged youth around the country to “speak” a letter to the next president voicing the concerns closest to their hearts. More than 140 video letters came in from around the country, addressing themes such as student debt, gender inequality, race and education. Students, many of them first-time voters, are asking for solutions to issues such as drug addiction, tensions with the police, the foster care system and preserving Native American cultures.

Student Reporting Labs: Letters to the Next President demonstrates that today’s teens are not afraid to voice their opinions and speak out on issues they care about. Several submissions used spoken word to highlight the topics students hope to see addressed by the next president, like this video featuring Anthony Rivera from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

“One of the first steps towards being an active citizen is finding your voice and speaking out about the injustices you see,” said PBS NewsHour Executive Producer and WETA Senior Vice President Sara Just. “All of us at NewsHour are proud of the work that these students and their teachers are doing and we are pleased to add the youth perspective to our election coverage.”

Selected videos will air on PBS NewsHour Election Day coverage November 8.

Student Reporting Labs: Letters to the Next President is part of the #2NextPrez initiative, a partnership with the National Writing Project and KQED.

Station support for this project provided by: CET, Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Detroit Public Television, East Tennessee PBS, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Iowa Public Television, KERA, KLRN, KLRU, KQED, Las Vegas PBS, Maryland Public Television, Milwaukee Public Television , MontanaPBS, Nine Network, Oregon Public Broadcasting, PBS Hawaii, PBS SoCal, Prairie Public Broadcasting, Rocky Mountain PBS, South Carolina ETV, WNED, Wisconsin Public Television, WITF, WHUT and WHYY.

About Student Reporting Labs
Student Reporting Labs provides middle and high schools with a unique video journalism curriculum, teacher professional development, mentorship and relationships with local public media stations to produce original stories that explore how critical national issues impact communities around the country. Visit PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Major support is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen and the National Science Foundation.

About PBS NewsHour                                                                                  
PBS NewsHour is seen by over four million weekly viewers and is also available online, via public radio in select markets, and via podcast. PBS NewsHour is a production of NewsHour Productions LLC, a wholly-owned nonprofit subsidiary of WETA Washington, D.C., in association with WNET in New York. Major funding for PBS NewsHour is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers. Major corporate funding is provided by BNSF and Lincoln Financial Group, with additional support from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Lemelson Foundation, National Science Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Ford Foundation, Skoll Foundation, Friends of the NewsHour and others. More information on PBS NewsHour is available at pbs.org/newshour. On social media, visit NewsHour on Facebook or follow @NewsHour on Twitter.

Partners: KQED, the National Writing Project, #2NextPrez

Media Contact: Thaisi Da Silva, Director, Student Reporting Labs: tdasilva@newshour.org