It's an issue affecting millions of young people across the country – bullying. According to StopBully.org, almost 1 in 3 US students in grades 6–12 experience bullying. While, more than 70% of young people say they have witnessed bullying in their schools. In honor of October's Bullying Prevention Month, Channel One News shed a spotlight on the issue of bullying and the power of social media during a profile on one young person who used her personal past being bullied as a catalyst for change.
In this revealing piece, reporter Azia Celestino sits down with anti-bullying advocate Emily-Anne Rigal. After a vicious cycle of bullying that caused her to switch schools, Rigal sought comfort online, using YouTube vlogging as an outlet for the pain. For the first time, she formed true friendships online and together they created "We Stop Hate," a program equipping young people with the tools to delete digital drama and raise self-esteem. Since the program's inception, Rigal has been able to inspire thousands of young people – and celebrities - to champion change. She even caught the attention of Lady Gaga, who gave her the title of her personal "hero."
Channel One News reaches more than 5 million students across the country. Our daily news program is dedicated to educating young people on the issues that impact their lives and the topic of bullying couldn't have resonated more with our audience.
The immense impact of Emily-Anne Rigal's story on our audience was in large part due to the production, editing and excellence of our journalist Azia Celestino. Celestino's line of questioning and skills as an accomplished journalist was integral in delivering tough questions in addressing the emotional past of our subject. The piece – shot in-studio and at Barnard College - was edited in a visually-compelling, age-appropriate way to hook the attention of our audience. After the series aired, we heard from educators and students across the country. Educators loved the teachable moments the series inspired, and students weighed in with their thoughts and personal experiences with the issue at hand.
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