Young People in the Media

A survey released today has shown just how much coverage of young people in the media is negative. I caught up with two of the NYA Team at the Youth Summit to get their views:

Earlier on today I also got chance to talk to Leigh from Media Box to ask her to explain what media box is all about and how it can help challenge negative media portrayal of young people.

Check out the full press release


9 out of 10 stories on young people don't report what they say

Less than 1 in 4 stories are positive about young people

A news survey for Young People Now magazine by TNS Media Intelligence
shows only 22.7% of national media coverage about young people is
positive/favourable. The survey findings are launched today at the start
of the national Youth Summit in London.

Broadcast media in particular concentrated on negative perceptions of
young people, with an astonishing 87.5% of broadcast clips unfavourable
towards young people.

While adults were quoted in 38% of stories about young people, a young
person's quotation appeared in only 11% of the coverage. If the views of
young people were heard at all, they were often heard only after adult
expects on the matter in hand had been quoted.

The survey covered all daily and Sunday nationals, all major and most of
the smaller broadcast news outlets, monitoring coverage for one week in
May 2007.

*  Broadcast coverage tended to be of short duration and focused on the
more headline-grabbing incidents of violence and crime.

*  The most popular Broadsheet newspaper topic was education, accounting
for 38% of coverage about young people.

*  Tabloid newspapers included both violent crime and education, but they
were also more concerned than other media about the sexualisation of
childhood that accounted for 16% of the tabloids' coverage.

While in any one week particular stories might dominate a news-agenda,
there is little to suggest that the negative coverage of young people is
atypical. The range of topics covered by the national media was
predominantly negative, with an emphasis on problem behaviour and young
people the instigators or victims. The survey also follows previous
studies for Young People Now. Initial research in 2004 showed that 3 out
of 4 stories about young people were negative.

Ravi Chandiramani, editor of Young People Now, said: "Over the last
three years, there has been an increase in positive coverage of young
people. However, as our survey shows there is a great deal more to do,
in particular for broadcast news media. All too often young people are
seen but not heard. This not only reinforces negative images and
stereotypes of young people, but risks further alienating young people
in communities."

Philip Lynch, director of evaluation at TNS Media Intelligence
commented: "Young people were closely associated with negative issues
such as crime, violence and antisocial behaviour. Other issues such as
education, the sexualisation of childhood and gangs often carried an
element of distress that adults are failing young people."

Young People Now will hand out its 2007 Positive Images Awards at The
Youth Summit, in association with The National Youth Agency, as part of
its campaign to improve the media portrayal of young people.

- Ends -

For further details or media interviews with Young People Now, TNS Media
Intelligence and The National Youth Agency, contact:

*  Jonathan Hopkins (tel: 01235 559556)

Notes to editors:-

The Youth Summit: is a two-day event 25/26 June that brings together
Government Ministers, senior officials, leading policy makers, service
providers and a panel of 100 young people from across England, forging
dynamic links between young people, communities and government. 

Positive Images: a full list of the 2007 award winners will be available
from Young People Now on Monday 25th June. The awards will be presented
at 5.30pm, at The Youth Summit, New Connaught Rooms, London WC2. Young
People Now launched Positive Images in October 2004 as a campaign:

*  to improve the portrayal of young people in the media
*  to encourage media to look for positive angles when reporting stories
about young people
*  to incentivise youth groups and young people to be proactive in
contacting the media for local councils to celebrate young people as
part of a long-term strategy.

Young People Now: is the only weekly title for those who work with young
people aged 11-25. It was launched in 1989 by The National Youth Agency
and has been published by Haymarket Media Group since January 2003.
Haymarket is the UK's largest privately owned magazine publisher, and
Haymarket titles are now published in over 30 countries in more than 100

The National Youth Agency: supports those involved in young people's
personal and social development and works to enable all young people to
fulfil their potential within a just society.

TNS Media Intelligence: TNS Media Intelligence UK has been at the
forefront of the media monitoring industry since its inception fifty
years ago and is a recognised industry expert in audiovisual tracking.
In January 2007 it merged with Presswatch, founded in 1996 and well
known as a high-quality information service provider and independent
reputation analyst in the UK.

Positive Images Survey 2007: TNS Media Intelligence monitored the tone
of coverage of young people during the week of 19-25 May 2007. In total,
304 items of coverage were recorded, of which 104 were broadcast, 90
broadsheet and 110 tabloid.
Added by tim at 06/25/2007 - 11:40