Children’s commissioner decries media’s portrayal of young people

England’s children’s commissioner Al Aynsley-Green has called for a radical change in the way young people are portrayed in the media.

Speaking to delegates at Community Care LIVE children and families this week, Aynsley-Green said there had been an “explosion of negative stereotyping of young people in 2005”.

He said this demonised young people and made no attempt to understand their problems or appreciate the significant contribution they made to communities.

He questioned whether it was time to introduce a code of practice for the media on how young people are portrayed, adding that he had accompanied members of the youth parliament to discuss the issue with Ofcom and the Press Complaints Commission.

Aynsley-Green argued that young people today faced “pernicious pressures” and many felt they had no one to turn to. “Young people are craving a sense of security and safety,” he said.

Top of young people’s concerns is bullying, he added. “Bullying is the single most important thing children and young people have asked me to tackle.”

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