Youth in a Positive Media Light
by Alison Burkhardt
May 1, 2012
A couple years ago, I was part of planning multiple of youth events and programs that were to take place in the span of 10 months. For each of the events, we gathered a group of teenagers together to hear what they viewed as major issues affecting them as urban youth in the city of Chicago. Each group mentioned how media portrays youth in their community as one of their top three concerns. Upon further reflection, it was discovered that their concern was that media attention usually portrays them in a negative light: as criminal offenders, irresponsible, and violent. They wanted to see the media begin to highlight positive teenagers and broaden the public’s perspective of their age group.
Some simple ways you might begin to tackle this in your own community are to highlight the good work your students are doing in your ministry to the larger community. This can be as simple as honoring your students who made the honor roll in “big church,” or sending a short video clip and press release to the local paper or news station on the positive contributions your young people are making to the community (or brag about them on your church's or community's Facebook page).
What are some ideas you and your youth have? Send them to us or post them in our Facebook group. The three most innovative ideas will receive a free youth ministry resources or t-shirts from us at North Park University.