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By Jesse M., Grade 12, Highlands School, Edmonton, AB

What is really happening with youth today? Does media portray accurate images in depicting crimes involving minors without bias of all teenagers? Has the viewing public become so accustomed to hearing the term 'young offender' that it is difficult for less-youthful individuals to think of a teen who isn't involved in drugs or theft? The media's role is to report, analyze and sensationalize events from the local community, and unfortunately, a large portion of the news involving youth is based on young offenders or "troubled teens".

Family programs such as "Leave it to Beaver" and "The Brady Bunch" have been replaced by uncouth programs such as "Maury Povich", who often airs programs about troubled teens who beat their mothers and curse profusely. In turn they get sent to Maury's boot camp. Yet this is a minority.

Sensationalism sells. Consumers don't want to watch television about young adults with strong morals and values, nor about the dedication teens have for developing their talents or succeeding academically. Rather, it is much more interesting to watch a delinquent teen struggle, so that the viewer is able to deny feelings of inadequacy over his own shortcomings; the viewer can congratulate himself on being better than the criminal who has become a target for media discrimination.

So why do media sensationalize incidents involving teenagers and crime? Years ago, teenagers weren't always abiding by the rules of society. Freshman got froshed, and cows got tipped over. It seems though, that rules were meant to be broken, and will continue to be broken for all of eternity. Or until the world becomes more like George Orwell's "1984".

So, in the meantime, do not become discouraged by news reports stating that youth are destructive individuals without morals. Know better and be better, and demonstrate with every moment how wonderful youth is, so we can combat this trend in media by being the best.


I love your article... great opinion and emotion. I have always loved a good fight for what I believe in, and this is definitely a challenge.
Wonderful points and proof.
Erv N.,  A.E., Munroe Junior High, Winnipeg. MB


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