FRONT PAGE: British youngsters to get much-needed makeover

The BBC and YouTube have been asked to play a key role in a PR campaign to give British youth a makeover.

Many youngsters help in their communities
Many youngsters help in their communities

Prince Charles' charity The Prince's Trust is planning the campaign - to take place in
November - in response to the recent barrage of negative headlines about young people.

The charity wants to highlight the positive contributions young people make to their communities in an ­attempt to change public perceptions of young people.

The Prince's Trust is in discussions with the BBC to look at potential ways to get its message across.

A national Youth Week will take place in November and a BBC spokeswoman said ‘there may be an opportunity to feature any messages that might be editorially relevant to our careers' campaign'. But she stressed the BBC was not a partner of the charity.

Early talks have also taken place with BBC Nations and Regions. The charity is keen for local media to cover stories about young people's positive contributions in their local area. Positive clips about young people will also be put on YouTube.

However, the Daily Mail's home affairs editor James Slack warned: ‘Any PR campaign for a more positive portrayal of teenagers, however welcome, must be realistic. Children ­being murdered or carrying out violent attacks will always carry a news value that stories of everyday life and achievement do not.'

Slack rejected the idea that the media had a negative attitude toward young people. ‘Recent coverage doesn't ­reflect a negative attitude ­toward children, but rather the reality of a series of tragic murders by and of young people,' he said. ‘There is a need for huge public debate on the root causes of this situation, and the media have been quite rightly trying to lead the way.'

Recent headlines
30 July Drunken Rochdale thug gang led by girl, 18
29 July 15 years in jail for youths who beat man senseless - Metro
18 July Boy, 13, among six arrested over murder of teenager shot dead at barber shop - Daily Mail
15 July One in five teenagers admits committing crime - The Independent
13 July Knife-carrying youth culture must be blunted - The Scotsman

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