How can young people get their voices heard more in the media? We recently had a bash at the House of Commons to launch a report all about how young people feel they're represented by the media and politicians. Here's what the young peeps there told us. (Click on the audio link to hear their responses).
Kate, 20 I think something that is largely underestimated is writing to the newspapers. It's often seen as something that 'disgusted' of Tunbridge Wells does and not you; but if young people do begin to write to both local and national papers they'll begin to make the editors and the journalists aware that they do have views and they aren't afraid to express them. Hopefully this would encourage them to come back and begin to consult with young people and start a two-way dialogue.
Muhammed, 19 We can encourage young people to write in the local newspapers and local youth magazines and encourage them to write young people's stories which will encourage other young people to do the same.
Rachael, 20 I - and other young people - can talk to the media, write letters to the local newspapers, go to television talk shows, just basically get our voice out there into the media, do it everywhere, get published. If you've done something good or if you do something voluntary write to the local newspaper because that's the only way the media are going to find out, if we let them know what we are doing. Young people are sort of doing this but they don't realise they can approach the media rather than waiting for them to make the first move.
Sophie, 19 I find there are plenty of opportunities if you look for them. Online media is the most accessible for young people I think, and plenty of us have our own blogs, but if you're not interested in all that hassle then you could join somebody else's. The broadsheets have them and if you care to comment on them I think that would be a good forum for old people and young people to chat together.
Emma, 19 It's partly our responsibility to raise our voices and actually use the vehicles that are already open to us, like writing to newspapers or doing flagship events where the media is going come along and take a look at what you're doing. It's also about the media taking responsibility to actually listen and go out there and try and dig out the views of young people. Especially those who are less active, but still have opinions, and are just less aware of the vehicles that are available to them.
Emily, 23 I think all young people have a responsibility to be involved in politics whether they realise it or not. Even if they are not of the age to vote they've got a responsibility to be actively involved in politics, by writing to their MP and discussing issues of other young people that affect them directly. I think this applies to the press as well - if we keep targetting them we are going to make a difference.
Katie, 17 Young people should carry on working to fulfil their individual potential, so when they do get asked their opinions by politicians and the media they've got well prepared answers and they can show who they really are. It sounds cheesy but it's true!
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