ThreeSixty Journalism and the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota have partnered the past three summers to host a TV Broadcast Camp for diverse high school students, but like many events in 2020, the pandemic has forced these partners to innovate. ThreeSixty is part of the Emerging Media Department at the University of St. Thomas. When the university announced in spring that there would be no on-campus activities this summer due to COVID-19, ThreeSixty and the Center decided on a creative alternative: a virtual Digital Media Arts Camp.
This year, professionals who have worked at media outlets including WCCO-TV, KARE, Minnesota Public Radio, Star Tribune, and City Pages among others will mentor the students. At the conclusion of the camp, each student will have created an array of digital media including a digital video, social media story, graphic design/illustration, audio story, photo essay and interactive digital story. The content will feature community leaders and organizations that are addressing health inequities caused by systemic racism in a culturally relevant way.
“We are excited to offer a new camp to advanced ThreeSixty students that gives them an opportunity to explore different types of digital content that probably feels more relevant to their generation than traditional media,” ThreeSixty Executive Director Chad Caruthers said. “It also provides a chance for local media professionals to connect with the next generation of diverse storytellers and help them share their voices with the community.”
This is the fourth year of ThreeSixty’s partnership with the Center for Prevention. Last summer’s TV broadcast camp from ThreeSixty and the Center recently received two Classic Awards from the Public Relations Society of America’s Minnesota chapter including Best in Show.
“Systemic racism is a driver of health inequities in our state and nation, and the disproportionate rates of COVID-19 infection in Black, Indigenous and communities of color further underscore that stark reality” said Dr. Mark Steffen, chief medical officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. “We need to address racism as a public health crisis and work to support community-led solutions to health inequities. A huge part of this is changing the dominant narrative on health and empowering young diverse journalists as storytellers.”
About ThreeSixty Journalism
ThreeSixty Journalism is an inclusive multimedia and college success program for high school students that develops the next generation of critical thinkers, leaders and storytellers.
About the Center for Prevention
The Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota delivers on Blue Cross’ long-term commitment to improve the health of all Minnesotans by tackling the leading root causes of preventable disease: tobacco use, lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating. Funded through proceeds from Blue Cross’ historic lawsuit against the tobacco industry, The Center collaborates with organizations statewide to increase health equity, transform communities and create a healthier state. Visit centerforpreventionmn.com for more information.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (bluecrossmn.com), with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota’s first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago.