Young people demand an end to negative stereotyping

Young people feel misrepresented by the media and that older people often have little respect for them, according to a study launched today by youth charities.

The report, which was produced by the British Youth Council and online charity YouthNet, probed young people about their feelings about subjects ranging from politics and the media to how they feel about antisocial behaviour and those responsible for it.

The media came in for particular criticism, with 98% of young people saying that the media always, often or sometimes portrays them as antisocial. More than 80% of those surveyed felt that older people respected them less as a result of this.

Young people took a hard line on antisocial behaviour with 90% of them denouncing antisocial activity, while the majority accepted that swearing, arguing and playing loud music could be antisocial.

The report calls on journalists to balance negative stories about young people with positive ones, and to make more effort to include young people’s voices in articles. Politicians, it said, need to take more time to talk to young people and should hold youth surgeries.

The launch of the report is the first stage in the BYC and Youthnet’s Respect campaign which aims to put young people’s voices at the heart of the debate about them.

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