In 2004 Ipsos Mori (The second largest Market Research company in the UK) was commissioned to run a survey on how the public felt that youths were portrayed in the Media. The results suggested that a 3rd of press articles about young people were related to crime and 71% saw young people negatively.
"The campaigners say the young are being unfairly targeted and should not be linked automatically with anti-social behaviour. They have drawn up a draft code to encourage more balanced reporting of young people, with an award scheme for those providing positive images of the young. Campaigns already exist to improve the media portrayal of other groups, including older people, ethnic minorities and those with disabilities." - BBC News.
Here are some of the responses given by the general public when asked whether the youths deserve the coverage they are given by the press.
Every time someone comes out with stories about young people being ill-mannered, I always feel the need to comment that elderly people are much worse. Graeme Phillips, Guildford, UK
Young people will be paying the pensions of older people as time goes on, so a bit of respect both ways is called for I think. Adolescence is a great time for the young to explore themselves and the world they live in before they enter the world of work and responsibility and they should make the most of it - the only way society evolves is by breaking a few rules here and there.... Terry, Brighton, UK
Unfortunately, society is biased against the young forgetting that they too were young once! Katie, Bucks
They reap what they sow. Every time that ridiculous advert comes on TV showing bright young schoolchildren and comparing these bright young with the "boring people" you'll normally deal with in professional life, I laugh my head off. School children aren't curious, enthusiastic or fun. They're stupid, ignorant, rude, abusive and arrogant. Josie, Reading, UK
I am over 60 and can tell you that the youngsters of today are no worse than any other previous generation. It is the media that has caused a lot of the trouble by portraying them as they do. Eddie, Hitchin, Herts
We knock youth whenever we can. If they get good exam results it's because the work is easy. If they don't do well they're lazy. If they stay indoors they're couch potatoes. If they go out with their mates, they are accused of being louts. They can't win! John, England
I have found in the recent elections in order to win votes Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives portrayed the youth as yobs. Politicians actual used this negative terminology in their election leaflets! I think an award scheme would need to incorporate our politicians who continuously scapegoat this powerless group towards their own vote winning aims! Will this draft code apply to ministers? Azra Jabbar, Black Country, UK
I think the bottom line is, for whatever reason, that the youths of today don't have respect. And they don't need to earn it, they need to demand it.