11 March 2009

Media And Teenage Boys

Over the past year, there were more newspaper stories about young people and crime than about all other stories on teenagers put together. The media refer to teenagers are yobs, feral, as sick, as scum. Unsurprisingly, research commissioned by "Women in Journalism" has found that 85% of teenage boys say newspapers portray them in a bad light. They think adults are more wary of them now than they were a year ago.

Fiona Bawdon, a committee member for WIJ: "When a photo of a group of perfectly ordinary lads standing around wearing hooded tops [is] visual shorthand for urban menace or even the breakdown of society, it is clear that teenage boys have a serious problem ... our research shows that the media is helping make teenage boys fearful of each other."

I wish that half of the media's attention was devoted to young people trying to access mental health services than this endless focus on feral youth. One in ten young adults (aged 16-25) believe "life is not worth living." Fully 95% of imprisoned young offenders have one or more mental health disorder.

We're so obsessed with being afraid of youth that we can't see their problems anymore.


Unknown said...

I agree with your sentiments, Scott.
Look at this from Caroline Lucas:
http://www.carolinelucasmep.org.uk/2008/11/17/web-exclusive-children-in-trouble-barnardos-campaign-17-november-2008/ I recommend looking at the youtube video. A link is found at the bottom of the page.

augustg said...

I would appreciate if you could post this to the groups page as a new topic. We have had a lot of success here in the district and would like to carry that momentum to a national level. Thanks!

To: Chicago Progressive Community,
From: Matt Reichel, Green Party Candidate in the special election in Illinois's 5th District

The vacancy created by the departure of Rahm Emanuel from Illinois's 5th District has presented an excellent opportunity to implant progressive rhetoric into the debate surrounding the election process.

The Primary Election season was highlighted by the first contested Green primary for a non-presidential race in Illinois history, as I ran against Deb Gordils, Mark Frederickson and Simon Ribeiro for the privilege of being the Green Party nominee in this high profile election. All four Green candidates were invited to the vast majority of the forums and debates, and we made the most of it: in general, we received the most raucous applause and the most visible expression of interest from attendees.

I won the primary based largely on my populist Green message: I believe that now is the time to communicate to Americans that we must organize and wage political war on the banks, who have been at war against the working and middle classes for decades. From ATM fees and overdraft fees to predatory mortgages, the major corporate banks in the United States have continually preyed on the most vulnerable members of our society.

Let's fight back: First and foremost by ending the bankster bailouts and by fighting to reverse already approved bailout appropriations.

Let us also draw a clear, thick line between us progressives and Democrat Mike Quigley, the "reformer." With our country in crisis, we don't have time for reforming the machine of Chicago politics. We must organize to defeat the Machine.

We can't afford to compromise on the most pressing issues: the ongoing wars of Empire in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the overspending on bailouts of this nation's criminal Wall Street class, and the lack of comprehensive universal single payer health care.

The Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune, who together essentially coronated Quigley as our next congressman with their endorsements, are busily painting Quigley as an "outsider." However, Quigley began his political career working for machine alderman Bernie Hansen, and he has always worked squarely within the machinery of the Democratic Party. Furthermore, he lacks the courage and passion to press on the aforementioned issues: the most important ones facing this nation in a time of economic peril.

Let us get our message out there! You can help today by visiting our website, www.mattreichel.us and donating and/or signing up to volunteer. We are also running group canvasses each weekend day, every Saturday and Sunday, at 2pm. Meet at the office at 1726 W. Carmen.

For more information about my stance on the issues, please visit the issues page of our website, http://www.mattreichel.us/theissues.php, or contact the office directly at 773-961-8257.

I thank you for your work as activists in our community, and I look forward to continuing to work with you for the greater cause of peace and social justice.


Matt Reichel

Also, make sure to heck out the most recent youtube video:

scott redding said...

Er. You do know that Coventry is a city in the United Kingdom? Still, nice to know about the GP in Illinois.

Anonymous said...

Coventry is also a suburb of Crystal Lake Illinois, just north of Chicago. It’s nice to know your blog has an international following.

Joe said...

Without wanting to downplay the reality of brokenness amongst some groups of young people, we have a tremendous problem with lack of opportunity in our country. It is said that anyone who ends up in prison is there from a combination of factors: bad choices and bad circumstances, the weighting of which is different for each person. So nobody can deny the responsibility of their own actions, but neither should the conditions be discounted. Nobody is 'not responsible' nor 'totally responsible'. Pretty obvious, I suppose when you think about it.

What surely does not help is the kind of attitude expressed by some 'leading lights' in the educational establishment, for example to me yesterday:

"Private schools don’t destroy communities: they are ideal communities. I wish a few housing estates displayed even a fraction of the values such schools imbue in their staff and children"

This perpetuates the myth that 'working class' problems will be solved when the protagonists accept 'middle class' values. Which is obviously rubbish - the current financial problems were not caused at all by the working - and under - classes.

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