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How are children and young people represented in newspapers and is this representation fair?

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Introduction

Media Assignment How are children and young people represented in newspapers and is this representation fair? Children and young people often appear in tabloids, broadsheets or local newspapers. They are, however, represented in different ways; such as the view of teenagers as hooligans, the view of toddlers as cute or the view of children as victims. These stereotypical messages are conveyed through text, which could be biased, or visual images, i.e., photographs, which can be cropped and composed to make the picture look different. I am going to investigate the different types of newspaper and see how they differ in their representation of children and young people, and examine or analyse the different stereotypes that are used. I have selected some articles about children that I have found in newspapers as evidence to support my views. My first article, headlined 'Teenage house party damage costs �15,000', is a prime example of a tabloid stereotyping teenagers as hooligans. The article, taken from the 'Daily Mail' newspaper, conveys it's message through text as there is no picture in the article. The newspaper has done this so that they can make the damages to the house sound even more dramatic than they may really be. ...read more.

Middle

My next piece of evidence, which falls unmistakably into the 'cute kids' category, is taken from a local newspaper, the 'Runcorn Weekly News', and is a photograph taken of three young children sitting in their classroom. There is no article or even caption attached, so the focus is completely on the picture. The photograph shows the children playing on the floor of their classroom, and shows the children enjoying their first Christmas at school. It shows the three children sitting on the floor playing with their classroom toys, making the reader think that they are sweet or cute. My final article is again taken from the 'Daily Mail' and is a chief example of children being stereotyped as victims. There is a photograph of a young girl, and the headline reads: 'Uncle is accused of killing Danielle', which immediately grabs the attention of the reader: Why would a man want to kill a young girl; especially a girl he is related to? The text states that she was a '15-year-old schoolgirl', yet the photograph is of a girl looking much younger than 15 years old, meaning that it must be an old photo, taken from when she was younger. ...read more.

Conclusion

died at the age of 15, and therefore makes the reader feel a dislike towards her killer and sorrow for Danielle; who is seen as young, helpless and victimised. In conclusion, I have found that children are unquestionably stereotyped in newspapers, particularly tabloid newspapers, as they always need an angle on their articles. My view on the matter is that children are often represented unfairly in newspapers, local and national, as the writers of newspapers often bend the story to fit the angle that they want, despite the fact that it may be a severe exaggeration of the truth. For example, in reference to my first article, 'Teenage house party damage costs �15,000', the incident was more than likely to be a one-off; but the media see it as hooliganism from teenagers, and Stuart Davies is portrayed as a bad person because of a single day in a life that has lasted 16 years. I know that most people enjoy their 15 minutes of fame, but for me, if it meant being represented as someone I wasn't; whether it would be as a hooligan, a hero or a victim, I wouldn't want to be in a newspaper no matter what. Jordan Hoose 1 ...read more.

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