ARE negative perceptions of teenagers in the media holding them back from getting a decent job? The majority of teenagers in a new survey seem to think so.
Falso stereotypes of young people in the media and wider society is having a negative effect on both their self-esteem and employment opportunities, a new report claims.
According to a survey by Demos, 81 per cent of teen feel they are unfairly represented in the media, and most of them claim this affects their chances of getting a job.
The think tank polled both 14 to 17-year-olds and their teachers as part of a study into the social and political attitudes of the next generation.
It said analysis six newspapers over the past decade found the words most commonly associated with "teenagers", "youth" and "young people" were "binge-drinking", "yobs" and "crime".
Executive director of the Society of Editors Bob Satchwell has hit back at the claims, saying a wider look at media coverage would show positive coverage, from A-Level and GCSE students to young Olympic athletes like Tom Daley
Demos' findings also show that a negative image is mistaken, with more teenagers than ever concerned with social issues and volunteering.
The report found an increasing number of young people have a stronger sense of individual responsibility and are looking at other ways to make a difference, believing traditional politics isn’t the most effective way of dealing with their concerns.
Report author Jonathan Birdwell said: "Teenagers are motivated to make a difference in their community but the approach they take is radically different to previous generations.
"They do not rely on politicians and others to solve the world’s problems, but instead roll up their sleeves and power up their laptop and smartphone to get things done through crowd sourced collaboration. They value bottom up social action over top down politics, and social enterprise over government bureaucracy."
He added: "Some have referred to the next generation – after Generation Y – as Generation C because they are the most connected generation in history.
"Our research suggests that the Gen C title is apt for another reason: because the next generation could be the most active citizens we’ve seen in a generation."
Findings from the survey
80 per cent of teenagers believe their generation is more concerned with social issues than previous generations of teenagers, with 66 per cent of teachers agreeing.
Over four times as many teachers also feel that today’s youngsters are more likely than previous generations to volunteer for good causes and community organisations.
Six times as many teens viewing charities and social enterprises as agents of positive change rather than politicians (60 per cent vs 10 per cent).
87 per cent of teenagers agree that social media is an effective way to gain momentum behind social issues.
38 per cent have signed a petition online, 29 per cent have used Facebook or Twitter to raise awareness of a cause and 19 per cent have donated money online.