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WUNC's American Graduate Project is part of a nationwide public media conversation about the dropout crisis. We'll explore the issue through news reports, call-in programs and a forum produced with UNC-TV. Also as a part of this project we've partnered with the Durham Nativity School and YO: Durham to found the WUNC Youth Radio Club. These reports are part of American Graduate-Let’s Make it Happen!- a public media initiative to address the drop out crisis, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and these generous funders: Project Funders:GlaxoSmithKlineThe Goodnight Educational FoundationJoseph M. Bryan Foundation State FarmThe Grable FoundationFarrington FoundationMore education stories from WUNC

Teens 'Remix' The News: World Cup, Controversial Shooting Range And More

Sadie Zimet remixing the news at the Chapel Hill Beat Making Lab
Beat Making Lab

Area teens have been listening to radio news stories and remixing them with original hip hop beats. Remixing the News is a partnership between WUNC and the Beat Making Lab

The teens are  from area high schools including Chapel Hill High, East Chapel Hill High, and Research Triangle High. They met regularly after school throughout the spring and then completed a week-long summer workshop.

First they learned how to use laptops and software to make their own hip hop beats. Then they began to listen to news stories and analyze them. Soon the teens married the music and the stories.

DJ Bark (Nadeen Ramadan) and DJ Lentball (Lopaz Evans)  remixed a World Cup story told by Renee Montagne and Linda Wertheimer on NPR's flagship program, Morning Edition.

Here is the remixed version:

WUNC reporter Eric Mennel's June 20, 2014 story received a lot of interest from the general public and the teens. It was one of the top stories on the station's website for more than a week. It is about a shooting range that opened adjacent to a cat sanctuary.

Original story: Man Opens Shooting Range Next To Cat Refuge: Internet Gets Angry

DJ Bounce (Sadie Zimet) and DJ Bri Bri (Briana Davis) remixed the story:

Akib Khan took the stage name DJ Akhan for the summer. It was pretty easy for Akib to know which story he should remix. It's a story that he actually reported for the station last summer as a part of a different project in which young people learn the basics of reporting. In Akib's original report he focused on the growing Burmese refugee community in Carrboro.

Original story: Akib Khan Looks Into The Growing Community Of Burmese Refugees In Carrboro.

Akib (DJ Akhan) worked with Sadie Zimet (DJ Bounce) to remix the story this way:

Ryan Levin is one of the leaders of the Chapel Hill Beat Making Lab. He said many of the teens who participated in the project gravitated towards stories about education.

"Since so many of our beat-makers are students, they often identify with the students featured .. and frequently have strong opinions about pieces dealing with education," Levin said.

So it's no surprise that we received three different remixes on a story by reporter Dave DeWitt. His story was about a group of Moral Monday protesters who demanded to speak to Senate Leader Phil Berger.

Senator Berger wasn’t in his office. That wasn’t unexpected, so the protestors went to the next item on the script. They sat down in front of Berger’s door until the Senate session ended. A half hour later, with no Berger in sight, the Capitol Police came through with a polite but stern order: The building was closing and everyone had to leave. The protesters began to get ready to get arrested. But here’s where script took an unexpected turn. Just a few seconds later, Senator Berger came around the corner, pulled some couches into a circle, and offered to have a discussion.
Original Story: Moral Monday, Phil Berger, And The Surprise 'Teacher Couch Summit'

We've sampled the remixes here to show you how the teens approached the same story in different ways. The first 30 seconds was mixed by DJ Bark (Nadeen Ramadan) and DJ Lentball (Lopaz Evans). The next 30 seconds was produced by DJ Bri Bri (Briana Davis) and DJ Milk (Makayla Kemp).

DJ Twice (Jennah Jones) mixed the full story.

Carol Jackson has been with WUNC since 2006. As Digital News Editor, she writes stories for, and helps reporters and hosts make digital versions of their radio stories. She is also responsible for sharing stories on social media. Previously, Carol spent eight years with WUNC's nationally syndicated show The Story with Dick Gordon, serving as Managing Editor and Interim Senior Producer.
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