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On one unremarkable day in April this year, just over a third of news stories were about issues likely to impact young people, such as policies to address climate change, school teacher training, the impact of automation on future employment and proposed social media regulation.
Our snapshot study analyzed the television and newspaper news in Australia on April 1, 2019. And our aim was to critique how young Australians aged four to 18 were included and represented in these traditional news forms that remain influential and popular, despite the rise of social media.
News - Stories - State - Newspapers - State
In total, we analyzed 276 news stories across eight national, state and regional newspapers and four national and state television news bulletins.
Of all the news stories we examined, only 11% included the views or experiences of young people. Usually, their inclusion was via adult mediators like parents, police and experts. Just 1% of news stories directly quoted a young person.
People - News - Accidents - Welfare - Stories
When young people were included in the news, we found it was most likely related to accidents and social welfare. They were absent from stories about the economy, politics, the environment and climate change.
We also found young people were ten times more likely to be seen rather than heard in the news.
News - Day - % - Photograph - Footage
Of the news stories we analyzed that day, 11% included a photograph or video footage of a young person or young people. Television news included images of young people almost twice as often as newspapers.
However, our analysis of these images finds young people are usually only peripherally included in the substance of the story, often acting as visual props to introduce color or emotion, rather than being an integral part of the story itself.
Way - Australians - Opportunities - Experiences - Journalists
In this way, young Australians are not being given opportunities to speak about themselves and their experiences, with journalists not consulting them or taking them seriously.
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