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Youth Representation in the Media


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How young people are represented in the media in Argentina. Stereotypes and representations.
Roxana Morduchowicz, Ph.D., Director of Medias in Schools Program, Ministry of Education, Argentina.
Youth and Media -seminar, 16.9.2010, Helsinki.

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Youth Representation in the Media

  1. 1. Youth representation in the Media Roxana Morduchowicz School and Media Program Ministry of Education Argentina
  2. 2. Media as “agenda setting” • Select information (on what to include / exclude) • Evaluate what is most / less important • Install / prioritize subjects • Influence on what people talk • Define frequency and continuity (of the subject) • Offer images of the world, social groups, places • Represent, construct / are not transparent
  3. 3. Media reinforce stereotypes • Conventional images on a social group • Simplified way to talk about someone • By using few images, categorize a whole group • Reinforce a particular judgement of a group • Classify by selecting only some characteristics • Naturalize this image in the society • Legitimate what is “normal” (life style, values)
  4. 4. Young people in the news • Related to negative situations • Violence, school failure, drugs, alcohol, anorexia, bulimia, pregnancy, drop out. • Anti – social behaviors
  5. 5. Young people in the news: the way they are filmed • Mainly adults interviewed -in youth`s news • Adults, alone: the camera only for himself • Youth, in groups: danger / scary image • Adults in their work places • Young people in streets • Adults talk, literally reproduced • Youth: references in journalist`s discourse
  6. 6. Young people in teenage fiction • The other side: rich and good students • Live in close neighborhoods • Exclusive schools • Successful lives • Their problems: lack of love • Poverty –even middle class- does not exist • (Beverly Hills, Greek, Gossip Girl)
  7. 7. Young people in docu realities • Victims: abused, raped, beaten, abandoned, exploited, exposed to prostitution… • Victimizers: beat, kill, threaten, abuse, are drug dealers…
  8. 8. Risks of this representation… • Legitimates: “young people are violent” • Ignores millions of young people • Reinforces idea: youth related to conflict • Leaves two main questions opened: Do young people feel represented in the media? What can be done?
  9. 9. The main answer • Media Education: • Access • Analysis • Production
  10. 10. Media education is Access • Equal access to culture, media and technology for everyone • Compensate culture gaps. Strength the students´ culture capital • Avoid social exclusion among the young generation
  11. 11. Media education is Analysis • To critically read the media and analyze the way the world is represented. • To understand how messages are put together, by whom, and in whose interests • To challenge media stereotypes
  12. 12. Media education is Production • Students become cultural producers. • They learn how to use the media to express themselves • They get a new visibility in the media
  13. 13. School makes TV • Primary school students write a story. Six stories are selected and produced as short films –by well known film makers- and shown on all Argentine TV channels.
  14. 14. School, camera… action • Secondary school students write a story. Three stories are selected, produced as short films –by well known film makers- and shown on all Argentine cinemas for a month, before the film programmed.
  15. 15. Journalists for a day • Secondary school students investigate and write an in depth report. Each newspaper in Argentina selects one story and publishes it, whole page, signed by the students, the same Sunday all over the country.
  16. 16. “Radio dreams” • TV program : adolescents in three high schools, in 3 small towns (1000 people each), had to create a radio for their village. None of these towns had a radio.
  17. 17. Media education in Argentina is • The right to culture • A space for critical analysis • A site to become culture producers • To reinforce the civic culture and the engagement with democracy
  18. 18. Thank you! ¡Muchas gracias! For more information: • Web site: • E-mail: