Jon Aitken

Our Young Journalists at Rife are engaging Turner-prize winning artists on Twitter

24-year-old journalist Jon Aitken received some fascinating tweets about his article on Why Young People Aren’t Going to Art Galleries and even got a direct response from controversial artist Jake Chapman himself, who then followed Rife on Twitter.

Rife is Watershed's online magazine for young people, written by young people. It will always be created and shaped by our content creating young journalists – they are in charge. Covering film, music, art, culture, social issues and politics, Rife is everywhere - covering everything Bristol has to offer its young people through popular online channels, like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and more…

A Fine Art graduate, 24-year-old Jon Aitken was part of the inaugural Rife cohort. After reading that Turner Prize-winning artist Jake Chapman said that taking children into galleries was a waste of time, Jon wrote this thought provoking article on Why Aren't Young People Going to Art Galleries.

His piece provoked a response from the enfant terrible of British modern art himself, who went on to follow @rifemag on Twitter. An impressive result for anyone, never mind an online magazine in the early months of its life. Rife gave Jon the opportunity to explore something close to his heart and the result was a passionate, provocative article that is interesting to a wider audience.

Jon also worked with members of the Brook LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) group to produce Rife's most viewed video on YouTube. The video – Can you tell if somebody is gay based on what they want in a relationship? – elicited some brilliant responses. From cuddles, a good breakfast, hugs and dedication, what was clear was that the answer is unequivocally no – everyone was #justhuman.

When his six months with Rife Magazine ended, Jon didn't move too far – the skills he developed at Rife got him a job down the corridor in the Pervasive Media Studio, working with adventurous app creators Daredevil Project.

Jon says:

"My Rife journey meant meeting huge networks of creative people, which gave me the confidence to take my skills and knowledge onto another organisation, building on everything I’ve learnt. Working with Watershed has made me realise that there are people out there who are actually interested in things I have to say – which is – just beyond belief."

Look out for our new Rife Young Journalists and Content Creators around the city as they make videos, write articles, live-tweet events and take snapshots of Bristol youth culture. We're also always on the hunt for budding journalists, vloggers, bloggers, filmmakers, photographers, and designers to join our team. No qualifications are necessary - some of our journalists come fresh out of school. They come from all across Bristol and have different backgrounds and interests. If you’re under 25 (or know someone who is!) - head here to found out how to get involved too.

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