Youth organisations challenge press bias 23rd February 2012

Press Cuttings

60 youth organisations, representing hundreds of thousands of children and young people  believe reforms must be made to the Editors Code and Press Complaints Commission (PCC) in a bid for a fairer, more balanced press in the UK.

The collective of 60 organisations, coordinated by the Youth Media Agency and Mediawise, includes the British Youth Council, which includes UK Youth Parliament NCVYS, and the National Childrens’ Bureau. They have expressed that although press freedom is important, having balance is also essential so the public are aware of the valuable contributions children & young people make to UK society.

They specifically suggest that excluding age discrimination from the Editors Code is hindering young people’s right to reply to biased coverage, and have raised concerns about young people finding the press complaints procedure inaccessible. A recent pilot survey by YMA found that over 50% of children and young people didn’t even know that the PCC exists and 68% said they would make a complaint if it was easier to do so.

It is hoped that the publication of the collective’s submission to the Leveson Inquiry will be the first step to securing wider support for the recommendations:

Liam Preston, Chair, British Youth Council:

“We have been campaigning for a long time to challenge the disproportionate negative stereo typing of young people by parts of the media. The lack of balance of reporting is shocking and we have no right of reply or protection against bias.  The media give us the impression that the only way to get reported is to do something bad – but what does that say about our press. It’s not just a case of fairness, but about challenging old fashioned and cynical attitudes towards us.”

Susanne Rauprich, Chief Executive, NCVYS:

“NCVYS supports this submission and hopes that these recommendations will be strongly considered. Young people and the organisations that support them regularly complain to us about negative stereotyping in the media and the wider impact this has on perceptions of youth. Current legislation in this area is woefully lacking in rigour and more must be done to ensure our young people are given fair and respectful coverage.”

Dr Hilary Emery, Chief Executive of leading children’s charity the National Children’s Bureau:

“We fully support the recommendations for media reform that have been published by the Leveson Inquiry, and hope they will help ensure more balanced coverage of young people in the press, while making it easier for young people to raise concerns when biased coverage does occur.”

Find more details at: http://www.participationworks.org.uk/news/youth-organisations-call-for-reforms-to-press

If your organisation wishes to show its support to the recommendations to the Leveson Inquiry you can: