© Foto: Mattias Malk

Needed: Diversity!

Mariell Raisma, European Youth Press

All social groups should be involved in the creation of media content. There needs to be a balance. No matter how much media outlets try to be impartial, they still carry the particular perspectives of their journalists. These perspectives influence the choice of which stories to cover and also what is focused on in these stories. A representative of each social group is more sensitive to the interests of that group, and to the challenges and issues they face. Young people enhance the perspectives of older, more experienced journalists who can have a wider view of society in terms of the historical reasons for why things are the way they are, and often a more well developed understanding of media logic. Young people bring fresh energy with unexpected and exciting ideas and perspectives. Balance is also important because people often want to see the world through the eyes of someone they can relate to. Therefore, young people who participate in media creation help other young people become interested in the topics which they cover and in the questions, problems and ideas they discuss.

This is so that young people can develop into citizens who have a wide perspective and who care about what happens in their society and in the world. Good media content with youth participation can cultivate a wish to contribute to society, to help improve it. It can help a young person find the ways in which to inspire others. Not everyone has to be a lifelong professional journalist, but indeed, youth participation in media can also give a young journalist the opportunity to eventually become that journalist whose long experience provides support and advice to the next generation of aspiring journalists, and to young people interested in media in general.