Denise Young

Executive Editor of Collaborative Journalism

Denise Young is editor of the local journalism collaborative in the WXXI news department. She manages the Innovation Trail as part of a multi-state journalism collaborative and is responsible for the Upstate Insight project, which involves coverage by several upstate New York public radio and TV stations.

Denise has more than 20 years of experience in print journalism, most recently serving as content coach for storytelling with the Democrat & Chronicle newspaper in Rochester. She led digital initiatives such as the RocRoots local history project for the D&C, and she has extensive experience working with community partners and freelancers.

She received her degree in magazine journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Ways to Connect

The New York State Education Department has released the latest English and math test scores, and Rochester’s results are the worst among the “Big 5” city school districts.

For the exams given this past spring, in grades 3 – 8, in Rochester, for English Language Arts, 45.2%  of all test-takers statewide in grades 3 through 8 scored at the proficient level.

Urban League of Rochester

The Urban League of Rochester is gearing up to help more than 300 people by providing job training, academic assistance and other supportive services.

The agency received $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to fund two re-entry programs for people who were previously incarcerated or otherwise involved in the justice system.

One, called Project Steps to Success, will serve 125 young adults, ages 18 to 24.

The other, called Project BEAM, will assist 188 people over the age of 25.

Denise Young/WXXI News

Monroe County officials released figures Wednesday that show the deadly impact that the opioid crisis has had on this area.

At a news conference at Greece Town Hall, County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said in the first half of 2016, the medical examiner’s office reported 97 overdose fatalities directly attributable to the use of heroin, opioids and other related substances.

In the same time period of 2017, there were 115 deaths.

Denise Young/WXXI News

Like most teenage boys, Johnny Berg loves music and electronics of all types.

But every year, as summer nears, Johnny straps on a helmet and becomes a Super Kid.

Johnny is among the young competitors in the Greater Rochester Soap Box Derby who love getting in their cars every year and letting gravity speed them down the hill on Lakeshore Boulevard.

Tammi and John Berg decided to get their 17-year-old son involved in the derby’s Super Kids program in 2014.

Denise Young / WXXI News

Hundreds of people gathered outside Rochester City Hall late Friday afternoon to protest recent actions by the Trump administration on immigration.

With the wind chill factor in the single numbers, it made it almost a necessity for the throng of protestors to huddle together closely near the steps of city hall as they listened to various speakers including Mayor Lovely Warren.


Incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Reed kept his seat in the 23rd Congressional District on Tuesday, defeating Democratic political newcomer John Plumb.

Reed won with 55 percent of the vote; Plumb took 40 percent.

Reed was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 after winning a special election for the 29th Congressional District.

When redistricting eliminated the 29th district, Reed successfully ran in 2012 for the 23rd district, a seat he has held since then.

Republican Assemblyman Mark Johns held off a challenge Tuesday to keep his seat in the 135th state Assembly District.

Johns defeated Democrat Dorothy Styk, a former Monroe County legislator, 60 percent to 40 percent.

Before being elected to the seat in 2010, Johns served on the Webster Town Board and Webster Conservation Board. He also worked for the Monroe County Department of Public Health for more than 30 years.

Styk was a Republican who switched parties; she unsuccessfully ran for re-election to the Monroe County Legislature in 2015.

The innovative thinking of Rochester Institute of Technology students was on full display at the school’s Henrietta campus during the ninth annual Imagine RIT festival on Saturday.

Thousands turned out to see the hundreds of exhibits across campus that showcased a wide variety of skills and creativity. In Clark Gymnasium, the focus was on access and inclusion technology.