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Teens Learn about Politics and the Media at WSU 4-H Conference

PULLMAN, Wash. – Over 250 Washington state youth will become reporters, editors and photographers at the annual Washington State University Extension 4-H Know Your Government Conference in Olympia, February 19 – 22 at the Red Lion Hotel.

Teens will conduct interviews, write news stories, and produce a broadcast video.  Story topics include Internet privacy, year-round school, undocumented youth attending college, and teen violence due to increased brutality in video games.

“Our youth delegates will learn how to recognize bias in the news and how to distinguish truth from spin,” said Jan Klein, WSU Extension 4-H Adolescent Leadership Specialist. “They’ll discover the importance of researching a topic to fully develop a story and that it’s good to question the authenticity of who is making the news or who is delivering it.”

Saturday, February 19, Kim Schmanke, will address the delegates at 6:00 P.M.  Schmanke brings more than 12 years of political and communications experience to her role as communication manager for the Department of Ecology’s Southwest Region, which spans 12 counties in Western Washington.

Lawmakers will join the teen delegates at a legislative dinner at 5:30 p.m. Monday, February 21.  Brad Shannon, political editor for The Olympian will speak about working out of the newspaper’s capitol bureau.  As a journalist for nearly 30 years, Shannon has covered city government, courts and public education.

The 4-H Know Your Government Conference, started in 1978, is a hands-on educational opportunity for youth ages 14 -18.  Over 87,000 youth participate in 4-H programs statewide in areas in areas including science, leadership, service learning, the arts, and technology.

Learn more about the conference by visiting


Note to media: Participants will becoming from the following counties: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Clallam, Clark, Columbia,  Ferry, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Spokane, Stevens, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whatcom, Whitman and Yakima