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unit 12

12.3.1, 12.3.2 Specialist Study

An exploration of how teenagers are represented in the media

For my specialist study I want to show that in the media, the youth of today are represented negatively and the media seem to only focus on one type of teenager, not all. I hypothesise that while teenagers are represented mostly negative in the media, there are some platforms of which they are represented in a positive light. In order to test my hypothesis, I did a lot of research looking into books, newspapers, magazines, youtube and films.

As part of my FMP I want to write about topics that will interest all teenagers, not just a select few. Doing this research will help with my FMP as I have looked more into stereotypes, how teenagers feel today in society and how different media outlets represent them in different ways. Knowing this will help me when if comes to writing more of my copy.

It does not come as a surprise that all throughout media there are stereotypes, a lot of which are based around teenagers. A stereotype is where individuals are placed into groups that labels them a certain way. Examples of this would be labels such as ‘trouble makers’ ‘antisocial’ and ‘unaware’. Flynn et al highlights the work of Garett who believes “The media has continually portrayed the young as something to be feared and envied” (2004, p149) Whilst this is a valid point, it is more evident for certain groups of individuals than any other. Young, black, males are constantly represented as something that you should be wary of as it places them into groups of people which then causes people to assume that they are part of ‘gangs’. Whilst there are possibilities that they could be a part of a gang, most of the time they are hugely misunderstood, especially within the media. Donaldson touches on this “In worst case scenarios, black boys and men actually internalize biases and stereotypes and, through their behavior, reinforce and even perpetuate the misrepresentations. They become victims of perception.”(2015) This shows that not only do the media representations affect how people view people of colour, it affects them in a negative way too. Garret also supports this point again by saying “when a highly visible youth group emerges, the media stereotypes that follow it ensure it will come to be seen as threat to society”(2004, p145)

When it comes to different media platforms, there are a variety of different ways that teenagers are represented. For example, newspapers represent them in a mostly negative way due to their audience, being mostly middle aged/ older adults with specific views. Bateman touches on this “It is an old adage in press that bad news helps to sell newspapers and so the newspapers , especially those with a right-leaning political slant, are quick to latch onto these negative representations, but the consequence of this is the establishment of a narrow stereotype which is applied to young people and the consequence of this is that more positive representations of young people are harder to find” (2011, P152) This shows that if the media represent teens in a negative way, people are more likely to latch on to that rather than if the media were to show the good and the bad that people of every age posses, as it would be seen as difficult to keep up with both. Bateman then goes on to say “…positive representations of young people are harder to find. However, they do exist, often in connection with examination success or when young teenagers gain entry into top university’s” (2011, P152) This challenges my hypothesis as it shows that there are good things written about teens, and it is not all bad.

Magazines are mostly aimed at a teenage audience so, naturally, they would have to represent them in a ‘positive’ way in order to attract their audience. They do this, but only in one, particular way. For example, they may only represent the ‘cool’ kids who are outgoing and popular, and not our introverted stay home type, who are just as interesting. Another thing that magazines do is represent them in unrealistic standards. They tend to have one type of person and go with it, so with teenagers being young and impressionable, they may think that the way they are represented in a magazine is how they should be in real life. Mcquail says “The more important the media are to people, the more likely they are to attract positive or negative value judgement about content or about the practice itself”(1994, p312) This supports my point by saying that if a teenager were to see ‘themselves’ represented in a magazine as slim, fun, cool and perfect with no flaws, they may feel negative about themselves, bringing on a more serious case of their body image being damaged.

The way in which teenagers are seen in the media and in society are closely linked together. Teenagers often feel as though their views are beaten down and not taken into account merely because they aren’t adults. In a video by Ted talks on youtube, Simonds (2014) says “my voice has been disrespected what seems like hundreds of times. I’ve been told by adults that i’m not ready to vote even though I keep up with politics, and I’m sure of my beliefs” She then goes on to say “…no one would say those things to an adult.” This shows exactly how most teenagers in todays society feels. It shows how the representations of teenagers online can affect how people see them in real life, which is somewhat demeaning to young people who only want to be heard and voice their opinions like everybody else does everyday.

In conclusion, I believe that teenagers are generally represented in a negative light in the media. Whether this be outright negativity which stereotypes the youth of today and makes people see them as threatening, or something that makes a teenager feel negatively about themselves. Researching into this topic has given me a great insight as to what not to do when it comes to representing teenagers, and how to interest them as readers in order to cut down on stereotypes.

bibliography

Bateman, A, Benyahia, S.C, Mortimer, C, Wall, P (2011) A2 Media studies:The essential introduction for WJEC 1st edition: Routledge 

BBC News, Negative stereotypes ‘hurting teenage job prospects’ (2014) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26230410 accessed on 3/01/17

Broccolo, C, Teenagers portrayed in the Media, (2014) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLRNXJa_buU accessed on 13/12/16

Colemen, S, Ross, K (2010)The Media and the public 1st edition: Blackwell Publishing

Donaldson, L (2015) When the media misrepresents black men, the effects are felt in the real world [online] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/12/media-misrepresents-black-men-effects-felt-real-world accessed on 3/01/17 

Flanagin, A.J, Metzger, M.J, (2010) Kids and credibility 1st edition: The MIT Press

Flynn, R ,Roche, J,Tucker, S Thompson, R  (2004) Youth In Society 2nd edition: Sage Publications

Hart, A, (1991) Understanding The Media 1st edition: Routledge 

Mcquail, D, (1994) Mass Communication Theory 3rd edition: Sage Publications 

Simmonds, K, I’m 17 | Kate Simonds | TEDxBoise, (2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OkOQhXhsIE accessed on 13/12/16

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12.2.1, 12.2.2 Literature Review

My specialist study is an exploration of how teenagers are represented in the media. In this literature review I will be evaluating a sample of the research I have done and talk about how it will help me. I hypothesise that while teenagers are represented mostly negative in the media, there are some platforms of which they are represented in a positive light.

The video called I’m 17 | Kate Simonds (TEDxBoise 2015) was extremely helpful towards my research as it similar to my topic. Although I found a lot of helpful things regarding how today’s teenagers feel, it isn’t helpful to show how teenagers are represented in the media, as it focuses more on how we feel in today’s society. It would be a reliable source due to the fact that it comes straight from a teenager today, although it could be baised.

Moving onto academic sources, I found Youth in Society (Flynn, Roche, Tucker, Thompson 2004). This was very relevant to my research, but again, it was more to do with society’s views, although it does briefly mention the media every so often. It is also helpful as I would be able to link the quotes to how it is in the media. Due to the information being a little outdated (2004) This source may not seem that reliable but there are ways I would still find it useful. This source would help with my website as it shows how teenagers feel and from that I see what I could do to represent them differently.

After looking at academic sources that were helpful, but not exactly what I was looking for, I found Media studies: The essential introduction for WJEC (Bateman, Benyahia, Mortimer, Wall 2011). This book covered how youth is represented very well. It covered a variety of subjects across the whole of representation such as aspects like why representation is important, how the media represents people of different ages and how there can be negative and positive things that come from it. This source would be helpful towards my FMP as it shows the stereotypes that teenagers are typically labeled as and knowing this would help me to replace them. This source is very reliable due to the fact that it has been written by academics based on extensive research.

As part of my research, I wanted to look into why audience is important. This due to the fact that different types of media represent teenagers differently according to their audience, for example magazines represent teenagers better than newspapers do, due to the fact their audience is mostly teens and newspapers are older people. For this I looked at the books ‘Understanding the media (Hart, 1991) and ‘Mass communication Theory’ (Mcquail, 1994) They both covered the topic of why audiences are important and I believe it will help me with ways to target my audience in a way that will relate to a large amount of teenagers, not just a select few. Although I may find the sources helpful, they seem really outdated so i need to be careful with what information I take from them.

From the research I have carried out, I feel as though I have found reliable sources, but I have also found a few that touch on my subject, but are outdated and may not be reliable anymore.


 

bibliography

Bateman, A, Benyahia, S.C, Mortimer, C, Wall, P (2011) A2 Media studies:The essential introduction for WJEC 1st edition: Routledge 

BBC News, Negative stereotypes ‘hurting teenage job prospects’ (2014) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26230410 accessed on 3/01/17

Broccolo, C, Teenagers portrayed in the Media, (2014) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLRNXJa_buU accessed on 13/12/16

Colemen, S, Ross, K (2010)The Media and the public 1st edition: Blackwell Publishing

Donaldson, L (2015) When the media misrepresents black men, the effects are felt in the real world [online] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/12/media-misrepresents-black-men-effects-felt-real-world accessed on 3/01/17 

Flanagin, A.J, Metzger, M.J, (2010) Kids and credibility 1st edition: The MIT Press

Flynn, R ,Roche, J,Tucker, S Thompson, R  (2004) Youth In Society 2nd edition: Sage Publications

Hart, A, (1991) Understanding The Media 1st edition: Routledge 

Mcquail, D, (1994) Mass Communication Theory 3rd edition: Sage Publications 

Simmonds, K, I’m 17 | Kate Simonds | TEDxBoise, (2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OkOQhXhsIE accessed on 13/12/16

 

 

 

 

 

Specialist study research

 

 

Cultural research:

“my voice has been disrespected what seems like hundreds of times. Ive been told by adults that i’m not ready to vote even though I keep up with politics, and I’m sure of my beliefs. I’ve been told to stop fighting for equality because I have a little voice and it won’t fix anything. The difference is, no one would say those things to an adult.”

“All teens are asked this, “what do you know? How could you know this? You’re only a teenager.” We are asked this when we talk about politics, education, even with what we want to do with our lives because we’re ‘too young to understand'”

Continue reading “Specialist study research”

12.1.1, 12.1.2 Specialist Study Proposal

Title:

An exploration of how teenagers are represented in the media.

Aims

For my final major project, I will be creating a webzine based on Teenage lifestyle. The webzine will contain a lot of different copy, such as blog posts, articles, reviews, multimedia packages and photojournalism. I will be writing about a range of things that fits into the teen lifestyle genre. This ranging from how teens are represented, diversity, body image etc. I will include interviews both on and off camera and use sources within all my articles.

I will carry out a large amount of research to help towards my specialist study, both primary and secondary, cultural and academic. I will be using a few academic books that touch on ageism within teenagers and how they are represented. I will also do some cultural research, by watching youtube videos on teenage representation again, from somebodies personal opinion. Throughout doing my research I aim to ask why it may be that teenagers are represented negatively within the media, and why this might be.

I hypothesise that while teenagers are represented mostly negative in the media, there are some platforms of which they are represented in a positive light.

Rationale

My specialist study is going to be “An exploration of how teenagers are represented in the media” This fits in well with my final major project as it is a huge part of teen lifestyle. As well as helping with my FMP, it will also help with my career path as I am hoping to specifically get into young adult publishing and having an understanding of the teenage lifestyle will help a lot with knowing what is wanted of the younger audiences. The research that I do will enable me to better my FMP as I will be aware of how teenagers are stereotyped, and what not to do when writing my copy.

Research sources

Bateman, A, Benyahia, S.C, Mortimer, C, Wall, P (2011) A2 Media studies:The essential introduction for WJEC 1st edition: Routledge 

BBC News, Negative stereotypes ‘hurting teenage job prospects’ (2014) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26230410 accessed on 3/01/17

Broccolo, C, Teenagers portrayed in the Media, (2014) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLRNXJa_buU accessed on 13/12/16

Colemen, S, Ross, K (2010)The Media and the public 1st edition: Blackwell Publishing

Donaldson, L (2015) When the media misrepresents black men, the effects are felt in the real world [online] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/12/media-misrepresents-black-men-effects-felt-real-world accessed on 3/01/17 

Flanagin, A.J, Metzger, M.J, (2010) Kids and credibility 1st edition: The MIT Press

Flynn, R ,Roche, J,Tucker, S Thompson, R  (2004) Youth In Society 2nd edition: Sage Publications

Hart, A, (1991) Understanding The Media 1st edition: Routledge 

Mcquail, D, (1994) Mass Communication Theory 3rd edition: Sage Publications 

Simmonds, K, I’m 17 | Kate Simonds | TEDxBoise, (2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OkOQhXhsIE accessed on 13/12/16

 

 

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