Most adults do agree, we’re not that bad

Young politicians, ministers, newspaper editors and London 2012 Ambassadors were among the 120 who congregated to discuss the relationship between the young and the media, writes Kishan Pashotam from, Brent Youth Parliament. Brent Youth Parliament (BY

Young politicians, ministers, newspaper editors and London 2012 Ambassadors were among the 120 who congregated to discuss the relationship between the young and the media, writes Kishan Pashotam from, Brent Youth Parliament.

Brent Youth Parliament (BYP) hosted the debate with the support of Brent Council at the Sattavis Patidar Centre, Forty Avenue, Wembley, last Wednesday.

The event, which concluded the work of BYP's second term in office, was based on the two-year long campaign Break the Stereotype, Fix the Impression.

BYP conducted the campaign and analysed the results of 2,242 responses.


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When it was revealed more than 50 per cent of respondents said the media did not represent young people in a fair light, the BYP thought this statistic warranted a response.

So the BYP set about making young people more fairly represented.

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A panel drew on the expertise of Children's Minister Sarah Teather; Andy McCorkell, news editor of the Willesden and Brent Times, Cllr Roxanne Mashari, co-chairwoman of Brent Youth Parliament, Matt Gardner, Brent borough police commander, and Andy Hamflett, chief executive of the UK Youth Parliament.

They were challenged by young people, councillors and representatives from the National Children's Bureau.

BYP's media debate was met with positive attitudes from all agencies involved.

The highlight of the afternoon was Cmdr Gardner's suggestion the young should be actively involved in Brent's Stop and Search forum.

He offered the forum chairmanship to members of Brent Youth Parliament. It is understood Brent will be the only borough in the UK to have a young person chairman of such a forum.

Sarah Teather, Minister Children and Families, then promised to pass on this news to the Home Secretary Theresa May, and invite her to see Brent establish a strong link between the police and young people.

Overall, the media debate was a breakthrough needed by young people and a platform to develop and establish.

As Members of UK Youth Parliament from throughout London attended the event, more young people, than imagined, will benefit from the day.

Video clips of the event can be found by visiting www.wbtimes.co.uk/byp

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