Mission: Politics IRL is a video series produced by GBH News and supported by America Amplified that engages young voters in our local community. Each video in the series features a pair of voters with different political perspectives meeting to discuss the issues driving them to vote. The project is driven by video participants and seeks to promote voter confidence and engagement ahead of the 2024 November General Election.

Staff members:

  • Alexi Cohan, Lead Producer
  • Azita Ghahramani, Senior Politics Editor
  • Annie Shreffler, Impact Producer
  • Lindsey Denault, Editor
  • Howard Powell, Camera 
  • Lance Douglas, Camera 
  • Dan Lang, Camera

Thanks to all the interns who have contributed to Politics IRL in 2024: Olivia Ray, Meghan Hirsch, Chinanu Okoli and Elizangi Araujo.

How does it work?
GBH News is building a database of local voters aged 18-25 years through outreach, referrals, and crowdsourcing. Our aim is to include a wide variety of young voter voices from around the greater Boston region.

Video participants are matched with someone who feels differently about a political issue and can have respectful debate and discussion. After an introductory interview, video participants are matched up for recorded conversations based on shared interests, age, political party and other factors. Video participants choose the topics they want to discuss, and come up with their own questions with light coaching from producers.

If a participant does not want to be matched, they can bring a friend, family member, colleague, etc. to join them for a shoot. All participants are screened beforehand and have the chance to meet one another before the shoot.

Video shoots are scheduled by producers and take place at restaurants, cafes and bars in the Greater Boston area and last about 2 hours. Discussions may last up to 40 minutes, and are edited down to a 4-6 minute length and posted to the GBH News YouTube channel. Videos also air on GBH’s channel 2 television shows Greater Boston and/or Talking Politics.

After publication of the video, producers will keep in touch with participants for feedback and future events.

How are we finding sources?
Everywhere! To participate you must be:

  • A registered voter in the United States
  • 18-25 years old
  • In the Boston area or able to travel here

GBH News is reaching out to college clubs and organizations, as well as local and national nonprofits. Participants need not be affiliated with a political cause or organization, or be politically inclined in any way to participate.

How is the video edited?
The lead producer and editor work with the approximate 40 minute conversation to bring the highlights and major talking points into focus, keeping the conversational flow. The chronological order of the conversation may not be the same for this reason. Edits are only made for flow and timeliness, and never to change the meaning of what a video participant has said.

What if I want to be in a video?
Great! Sign up here or reach out to alexi_cohan@wgbh.org

What if I don’t want to be in a video, but I’m interested in the project or have a question?
We welcome all perspectives and interests to be part of this project and we appreciate any support you wish to offer, from sharing the video playlist to giving us feedback and joining us for future events closer to Election Day. Talk to us here.

Watch all Politics IRL videos here