MEDIA DEBATE – WHAT HAPPENED
The Editor-in-chief of The Streets, Ruby Moore was invited by the Youth Media Agency to come to the Houses of Parliament to sit on the panel of media experts to share her views on the Media Debate that took place on 25th March 2013. A young budding journalist, Ayesha Aaliyah did an excellent write up on all that went down – READ BELOW:
Also Truth Loader put together a mini video of what was said:
#THEMEDIADEBATE BY Ayesha Aaliyah
On Monday 25th March, I attended The Houses of Parliament for The Media Debate hosted by Bite The Ballot in association with the Youth Media Agency. The intention of the debate was to allow young people to voice their opinions about the recent Leveson enquiry, the Royal Charter and their solutions to the problems concerning the perception of young people portrayed in the media.
I have to say it was a fantastic event and a great way for young journalists like myself to have their say about what needs to be done. It also provided us with the chance to network with various people from an array of publications and organisations such as: The Streets, The Latest, the Youth Media Agency, Bite The Ballot, Student Journals and many more.
The evening commenced with a performance from the spoken word artist Deanna Rodger, who voiced her frustration and anger towards politics and our democratic society through a poem titled “Who Cares”? She spoke every sentence with ultimate passion and I sat there in my “front row seat” nodding and thinking this girl is speaking the complete truth. Her brilliant performance and its message transformed my own views and opinions through a fantastic piece of spoken literature. I am sure I wasn’t the only one thinking that.
Her performance was followed by a presentation by Hiran Adhia, who is the project co-ordinator for #PressChange4Youth; and Louis Howell from NCVYS Envoy. Louis gave a quick and concise overview of the Youth Media Agency’s submission to the Leveson enquiry, explaining both the sides of the debate – a free VS Regulated press, the Leveson Enquiry and the Royal Charter. This was very helpful to me, especially as a young journalist, who is currently starting to understand the media jargon and some of the propositions included within the Royal Charter. Dekan Apajee, a former BBC journalist, introduced the panel. The panel included; John Leech the Liberal Democrat MP and Co-Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee; Ben Hall the Managing Director of The Hatch; Will Moy the Director of Full Fact; Marc Wadsworth the Editor of The Latest; Anthony Longden a journalist from the society of Editors; Ruby Mae Moore the Editor of The Streets; and lastly, Franklyn Addo, a writer and musician who often contributes and writes for the Online Guardian. They were all given 2 minutes to put forward their points. The floor was then open to us, the public, to discuss 3 questions and then feed back to the panel. The q
uestions were as follows:
Is freedom of speech important? What do you think about the Royal Charter?
Will young people complain about the press?
My views on each of the above is as follows:
Freedom of Speech Yes, freedom of speech is important, but is it the most important thing within the press? If freedom of speech means permitting the press to say and write whatever they like, without interference, including being prejudiced and racist and continuing to demonise young people and paint them all with the same brush, then no. In reality, within a free press, this is what is actually happening. Though journalists cannot make prejudiced and racist comments, they continue to use false facts and statistics to support, sometimes, ignorant views. Arguably channeled by the owners of a particular publication who pursue their blinkered objectives of wanting to cross the finish line first.
What is really important, is freedom of speech where there are limitations on what the journalists can say and what the press can print. Both the press and politicians sometimes argue that they are merely presenting and reflecting the views of the public. However, when they present their arguments, the public is often not told whether the views expressed are their own views rather than the views of the actual public. Of real concern is when FALSE facts, statistics, statements and negative language are used to generalise findings from one group of people to another. There are lies, damn lies and statistics. The public wants a responsible press, the difficulty is when the public cannot trust the press to act and behave responsibly. So yes, if you want your freedom of speech where there is no interference then, with great power comes great responsibility. (Spiderman).
The Royal Charter
Yes, the press should be regulated. If they knew how to behave in the first place we would not be in the situation we are in now, where, in 70 years, there have been 7 enquiries and the tax payer is paying millions of pounds for these. One important problem that has been omitted is the lack of plurality within the media. As Marc Wadsworth said ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’. We cannot carry
on allowing only a couple of people to own about 20 different newspaper brands!!
The new free arbitration service whereby a third party can complain on behalf of others and the legal fees will be accounted for, has been well overdue and definitely will help to fix the broken press complaints committee process. This also links in to the next question:
Will young people complain about the press?
The answer to that is – no as individuals:
Most probably because they wouldn’t know how to.
It will not make much difference because the press will continue to negatively portray young people. Maybe now, through groups not individuals, such as youth organisations, the free arbitration service will be used for lodging complaints.
> Connect with the young people and young journalists! > Allow them to write a weekly column in your publication! > Give discounted prices on advertisements for young entrepreneurs – or sponsor them! > Write about award shows or events for young people such as the V-inspired Awards, the Spirit of London Awards ECT and make them front page news instead of writing about the weather! Change the obsession the press pretend we have with the British weather! > Provide workshops within your headquarters for young people! > Link with youth organisations such as: Bigga Fish, Reprezent, Ape Media, S2R, NCS, City Brokerage, Bite The Ballot, Youth Media Agency ECT! > Link with youth publications such as Live Magazine, The Streets, Endz to Endz, and allow them to provide a free newsletter or short magazine inserts for your readers. I’m sure that on the balance of probability, as we are the future, it will boost your newspaper circulation and get young people buying your newspapers!
> Keep the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic
games flowing: ‘Inspire A Generation’!
When the government looks after the people, the people will look after the government!
Look after the youth today and they will look after you tomorrow!
Who will you sponsor for tomorrow?