Youth Vote launched this fall to share election related news and stories for student publications.

By Badri Murali

A new project led by the Canadian University Press is creating election news for students, by students.

Youth Vote is a CUP project that brings election-related stories from communities across the country to a national audience of campus publications. There are five regional bureau chiefs—Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies and West—who are paid to file election-related stories once a week.

Election bureau chief Sabrina Nemis said the stories have a national focus and that this is the first year that such a project has run.

“In past years, we would have two bureau chiefs who would write content from different regions, but we stopped last year,” Nemis said. A financial crisis  CUP faced a year and a half ago forced it to lay off all its part-time staff, including the previous bureau chiefs.

This year, CUP was awarded a grant from the Laidlaw Foundation’s Youth-Led Community Change Program, an Ontario-based group that funds projects about community and culture. The funding allows CUP to pay Nemis and the regional bureau chiefs.

CUP’s board of directors initially came up with the idea of Youth Vote in May. The regional chiefs started filing stories in late September.  They included a look at the proposal by the New Democratic Party to raise the minimum wage and why some francophone Canadians felt left out this election.

For smaller member publications like the Dagligtale, at the University of Alberta Augustana Campus, Youth Vote’s content is an important resource to have. Editor-in-chief Cameron Raynor said that because they work with a small team, Youth Vote is needed for election content.

“We want to run stories for students planning to vote but don't have the depth of staff to do it ourselves,” Raynor said. He is also the Prairie bureau chief.

Youth Vote will run until February, to report not only on the election, but also what happens after.

“I hope that it’s successful and it continues on. I think it’s great to be able to pay student writers for the work they do in a capacity that allows them to report on politics,” Nemis said. 

[[{“fid”:”4846″,”view_mode”:”default”,”fields”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:””,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:””},”type”:”media”,”link_text”:null,”attributes”:{“height”:657,”width”:438,”style”:”width: 75px; height: 113px; float: left; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;”,”class”:”media-element file-default”}}]]Badri Murali is a fourth-year journalism student at Ryerson University. He also works with the Kashmir Photo Collective as a researcher, gathering images, articles and stories from the Kashmir Valley. His previous experience includes working with the Eyeopener, Ryerson's independent student newspaper, as a media and business & technology editor. Photo courtesy Badri Murali.