Tyler Whitfield Named One of the Top 20 Under 20 Storytellers in the Country

PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs recently released their list, with DHS Press producer/reporter Tyler Whitfield named on it.

Dominion High School senior and DHS Press staff member Tyler Whitfield was selected as one of the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs 20 under 20 Up-and-Coming Storytellers for 2022. Whitfield has been selected out of storytellers all across the nation for his outstanding work in journalism over the past four years.

Finding out that he was selected for PBS’s list was quite the experience for Whitfield as he was surprised during breakfast with his family, which turned into a celebratory meal. “I didn’t think in any way, shape or form, I was going to actually get it. I thought, like, out of however many kids who do student journalism across the country that I would be under the 20. I thought that would have been remarkable,” Whitfield said.  

After being nominated by journalism teacher Mitch Schwartz, Whitfield was selected for his work in broadcast journalism by producing various video features since his freshman year and recent production of his podcast “The Final Year.” 

“We have been so lucky with our partnership with SRL and Tyler perfectly fits what SRL is looking for in that he dedicates his work to amplifying the voice of students on issues that are important to them,” said Schwartz, when asked about his decision to nominate Whitfield.

Tyler’s early start as a student journalist began after following in the footsteps of his older brother, quickly finding his groove in recording and editing digital pieces. Whitfield has produced major pieces that cover the events at Dominion, such as the Student Walkout in early 2022 and a segment for the Student Reporting Labs mental health podcast initiative, “On Our Minds.” 

“Tyler’s compassion for other people combined with his strong communication skills and commitment to journalistic values are the future of storytelling,” Student Reporting Labs Executive Director Leah Clapman said. “We’re incredibly proud of him and grateful to educator Mitch Schwartz for the exemplary journalism program he has grown over the past five years.”

During countless hours spent on producing projects for DHS Press, Whitfield is leaving his mark on the program, “The [project] I’m most proud of would be my podcast from this year, ‘The Final Year,’ just because it’s such a big undertaking. It’s throughout the entire year, I’m sticking with four students, hopefully producing an episode a month at the very least. So that’s been a lot of effort to take on, but it’s also shown,” said Whitfield when reflecting on all the work he has produced.  

Schwartz added, “It is an unbelievable accomplishment to be on this list and recognized with other amazing storytellers from across the country. It validates the work and effort that Tyler has put in over his years at Dominion and affirms what I always knew— that Tyler has an unbelievable ability to tell important stories.”

Currently, Whitfield is working on his final podcast as well as additional video pieces. Tyler Whitfield’s podcast alongside the rest of his award-earning work can be viewed on DHSPress.

Tyler joins three other Dominion students who have been honored on this list in previous years: Morgan Fischer and Kevin Myers in 2020, Sonal Prakash in 2021.

According to their website, PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs is a national youth journalism program that focuses on encouraging teenage journalists to spark an interest in producing digital pieces about the world around us. PBS has created a public media initiative to highlight the achievements of young journalists that change the world through telling the most fascinating stories through their work. Every year, the Student Reporting Labs program receives nominations of students from all over the country and only 20 of the best nominees get selected.