Does the media portray teens as they really are?
Published 4:00 am, Friday, February 8, 2002
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Teachers' Corner asked, "Are teens portrayed accurately in the media?" Responses are from Jennifer Gray's English and honors English classes at Ursuline and Cardinal Newman high schools in Santa Rosa.
The media makes teenagers out to be disobedient, disrespectful, sleazy people with no regard to anyone but themselves. They make it look like we think of nothing but sex. Everyone knows the majority of teenagers in society today are nothing like anyone you see on TV. It makes me sick that I can't turn on the TV without being insulted by the "ideal" image the media tries to send out to teens. All it does is lower people's self-esteem and self-worth.
MARISA FOPPOLI, 15
Teens are not just at the extreme ends of the overachiever-underachiever spectrum; there are many in-between.
MIKE O'CONNOR, 16
The media is constantly criticized for misrepresenting virtually every population group in the United States and around the world. My age group is no different.
What is a fair representation of the youth of America? Is it the anti- social computer nerd that owns a sawed-off shotgun, or do most of us exhibit the characteristics of controversial music videos? In a past edition of Newsweek, a political cartoon gave a history of the evolution of garbage receptacles; MTV was the modern wastebasket. Inconvenient as it may be for political analysts, we are the most diverse group in America.
We cannot be represented by a stereotype. We are deciding our own identity.
PHIL SNYDER, 16
I wish the media would give us credit for thinking on our own. We're not 4 years old...