Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Charlie Watkins
Last updated: July 27, 2019
When mediatexts represent people, they can be categorised according to age, however it iseasy to fall into stereotypical caricatures of lazy teenagers or grumpy oldpeople.
Today it can be difficult to pigeon-hole people into age groups, as theboundaries are becoming more blurred – for example, video games are just aslikely to be played by middle-aged adults as teenagers.Youngpeople are often represented negatively in media texts, which can causecontroversy and stimulate debate. During the London riots, British young peoplewere portrayed by the ‘Daily Express’ as dangerous and hostile. Thisrepresentation was based on the actions of a small number of people and createdan unfair stereotype. Stereotyping it’s the process ”simplification in orderto make events and issues more digestible for the audience in this case isextended to the representation of group of people.
Rather than represent themas individuals, sections of the media use a kind of shorthand in the way inwhich they represent some groups of people.” (Rayner et al:64, AS Mediastudies). Negative reporting causes a greater fear of the issue than the actualreality of the reported problem and enhances stereotyping. When young people appear in positiverepresentations in newspapers, it is often because they have done something outof the ordinary, such as a heroic act or an impressive sporting achievement. Positiverepresentations of young people in the media are much less frequent becausepositive representations are not as dramatic or entertaining. ‘When we considertabloid newspapers, this highlighting of conflict if often calledsensationalism.’ That means they represent stories in a way that is intended toprovoke public interest or excitement at the expense of accuracy. The lines used in this cover such as ‘FlamingMorons’ or ‘thugs and thieves terrorise Brittan’s streets’, represent youngpeople in a very stereotypical way and puts them in a bad light.
Young peoplehave been described as violent yobs that only seem to care about their streetstatus. They are presented as violent,brutal and dangerous. Phrases chosen by the media to describe youngpeople are often pejorative. It’s a typical stereotype for this age group. Themain picture shows us a teenage guy wearing a black face mask, gloves, trainersand a messy, loose tracksuit, also he has his hoodie on.
The face masks andhoodies are worn to conceal one’s identity. It gives us the negativeconnotation, as only criminals have to hide or cover their faces to escape thejustice. The gloves have a very similar connotation as usually lawbreakers needto wear them to stay anonymous. The tracksuit and trainers initiate thestereotype that he is from a low SES. Young people are represented here asbenefit scroungers, and incapable of complying with social norms of everydaylife. The background of this picture shows us a huge explosion that blows-up acar.
It tells us that those youth people cause damage, chaos and rebellious andanti-social behaviour, which can endanger innocent people.