Leading youth work charity UK Youth conducted an online survey, of 588 young people on their views of young people in the media, through its young people led arm UK Youth Voice (UKYV). The survey found that young people clearly have to take the lead in changing their image in the media, but the media also has a responsibility to reflect what young people are doing.
84% of young people asked felt that the media has had a bad effect on the image of young people, with more young people likely to see a negative story in the media than a positive one.
Kerry Pedder from UK Youth and an author of the report commented that she was, “not shocked by the high number who thought the media has had a bad effect on the image of young people. With the media often categorising all young people in a negative way, it’s hard to see the positive stories out there”.
The report by members of UK Youth Voice highlights that 71% of young people have been involved in positive activities but only 22% have contacted the media about them.
Of the 66% of young people who have been in the media, 93% agreed that they had been represented in a fair way. This emphasises the importance of every young person contacting the media about their positive activities.
UKYV’s research also shows there would be 44% more positive news stories if the media was contacted in such circumstances. The report’s authors said that their research shows young people need media training to help them contact the media, to highlight the positive stories, so that there can be a balanced portrayal of young people in the media.
“It was nice to see people’s faces when they found out that there could be up to 44% more positive coverage for young people if those young people knew how to access the media”, said Nick Newton, Member of UKYV at the presentation of the report.
UK Youth Voice and UK Youth will be working to producer an online toolkit, so young people themselves can help to change their image in the media.
For full report please see: http://www.ukyouth.org:81/whatwedo/UK+Youth+Voice.htm