Last fall, Young Voices launched our Campus Pundit Program, rewarding students for advocating for free speech on their college campus. Thanks to the talented work of our applicants and editing team, 18 op-eds were placed in student newspapers across the U.S. at notable schools including Berkeley, William & Mary, the University of Michigan, Clemson, and the University of Alabama.
Young Voices is pleased to announce that we are bringing the program back in the spring with a focus on investigative journalism. From speech-stifling administrators to spendthrift student governments, there is a lot that goes unnoticed at universities today. Young Voices will reward any student who can successfully place an article promoting transparency in their student or local newspaper with $50.
Click here for more information, including how to apply.
Paternalists don’t always have nefarious designs when they place bans on unhealthy activities, but a “take your medicine” attitude toward improving people’s health has unintended, sometimes deadly consequences. And, too often, there is an illegitimate purpose to legislating lifestyle politics: ill-gotten gains for rent-seekers.
For those who thought the baptists and bootleggers coalitions of yesteryear disappeared along with Prohibition, consider its longevity.
Bans on Popular Activities
Rent-seekers and anti-fun lifestyle enforcers (still) make strange bedfellows. For example: The State of New York taxes cigarettes at a rate of $5.85 per pack, banned Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) for twenty years, and has an Attorney General obsessed with shutting down Fantasy Sports. And in nearby Pennsylvania, century-old Blue Laws prohibit hunting on Sundays and limit liquor sales to government-run stores.
On the federal level, the FDA announced that it would begin to regulate e-cigarettes. So we have the baptist, in this case, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murphy calling for tighter restrictions on e-cigarettes, despite the evidence that youth smoking has declined and that “[r]educing youth access to e-cigarettes appears to increase youth smoking rates.” Then, we’ve got the bootleggers, tobacco companies whose profits are threatened by e-cigarette manufacturers.
Similarly, in Pennsylvania, anti-alcohol activists, or “new prohibitionists,” joined hands with government-liquor-shop unions to halt Blue Law reform.
Only through collusion could those new prohibitionists and their legislative allies manage to keep otherwise popular activities illegal. Before the legalization of MMA in New York and the modest reform of Pennsylvania’s Blue Laws, both changes had overwhelming support.
If the politician and the rent-seeker can line their pockets while simultaneously keeping competition out of the market, why wouldn’t they?
Continue reading at FEE.
That’s the number of young people that Young Voices provided writing training to over the sixth months since our incorporation as a nonprofit organization. That’s more than one young writer per day.
As the end of the year approaches, I’d like to ask for your support helping hundreds more pro-liberty writers with a tax-deductible donation to Young Voices.
Each one of the 259 young writers we’ve helped has a story to tell. Here’s just one:
“Young Voices has genuinely changed my life. Working as an advocate and remote Editorial Assistant from the UK helped me acquire the skills and contacts necessary to launch myself into the American liberty movement. Their team has helped me get published in outlets where I would not have otherwise, honed my op-ed writing skills, and provided low-pressure media training through the Young Voices podcast. If you aspire to become a journalist, pundit, writer, radio host, or work in communications more generally, I’d massively encourage you to become a Young Voices Advocate!” —Daniel Pryor, Young Voices alumni and Media Relations Associate at Students For Liberty
There’s only four days left to support young pro-liberty writers like Daniel in 2016. Make your deductible donation to Young Voices now.
P.S. You can learn more about all the work Young Voices did in 2016 by reading our Midyear Memo.
In collaboration with the Charles Koch Institute (CKI), Young Voices is recruiting talented individuals that will work full-time at our organization while participating in the Media and Journalism Fellowship Program at CKI. This program will provide a year of continuing professional education for creative professionals in media and journalism who are passionate about fostering a free press in society. Below are the open roles:
Interested candidates may learn more about the program and apply here. They are also encouraged to reach out to Young Voices Executive Director Casey Given by emailing [email protected].
It’s hard to believe that six months have passed since Young Voices incorporated as an independent nonprofit. What a journey it’s been! Young Voices has given 259 students and young professionals a voice for liberty this fall through media training and article workshopping.
Here’s what we did:
- Campus Pundit Program It’s no secret that there’s a crisis on college campuses these days. From Yale to Mizzou, students across the United States have started calling for “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” instead of free speech. To combat this disturbing trend, Young Voices launched our Campus Pundit Program in August, rewarding students with a $50 commission for successfully publishing an op-ed defending freedom in their student newspaper or local publication. Thanks to the generosity of a donor, we doubled the offer in September to $100 for articles specifically defending free speech. In total, we received 32 articles, of which 18 were published in schools like Clemson, Swarthmore, University of Michigan, and my alma mater UC Berkeley.
- Article Workshopping As part of our mission to empower the next generation of pro-liberty writers, Young Voices teamed up with the Charles Koch Institute to train dozens of their interns and fellows in the nuts and bolts of policy op-ed writing. Since June, I’ve delivered four presentations, both in person and online, to approximately 100 young professionals working for libertarian and conservative nonprofits. After each, Managing Editor Stacy Ndlovu and I then personally workshopped articles with 53 participants, pitching their pieces for publication in well-read outlets like Forbes and The Hill.
- Advocate Program Finally, the cornerstone of Young Voices’ programming — our media advocacy program for young writers — has grown in leaps and bounds. As of the time of writing, we have 75 Advocates representing 14 countries. This is a strong list of some of the liberty movement’s brightest young minds, assembled over our years of operations under Students For Liberty. Since our transition, Young Voices’ Managing Editor Stacy Ndlovu and I have put a greater focus on both the quantity and quality of our media hits. As a result, we’ve nearly doubled our output comparing the first six months of our operations to the previous six.
This is just the beginning! In the next six months, Young Voices has ambitious plans to ramp up our media training capabilities, increase our radio and television presence, and potentially double the size of our staff. In these politically uncertain times, it’s critical that a clear voice for liberty is heard from the youth. Young Voices aims to be that microphone, amplifying the message of free minds and free markets across the United States and beyond.
P.S. None of Young Voices’ work is possible without supporters like you. If you would like to make an investment in the next generation of libertarian thought leaders, you can give a tax-deductible gift here. All donations are acknowledged with a thank you letter and IRS receipt. Hurry before tax season starts!