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Youth and the media

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 15222 | 09 February 2021

Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media

Today, young people have a quite different relationship with the media than their elders. Through the new media, they develop social relationships and express their concerns, aspirations and expectations in a quite different way than previous generations. The pandemic and measures taken to combat its diffusion are producing a huge impact on their lives: they suffer, probably more than adults, from the imposition of physical distancing and confinement; at the same time, they turn more easily to the digital world and new media, to break their forced isolation and re-establish communication with their familiars and peers.

Within the new digital world, young people are the main actors not only in diffusing but also in producing information. They do not only consume cultural products but create and exchange new ones. Some of them might be trapped by information disorder, or by online incitement to violence and radicalisation; but many are the quickest to react and to oppose hate speech and discrimination. New media platforms create opportunities for the youth to voice their position globally on current crucial issues like human rights, environmental protection, sustainable development and peace. They want and have the right to be influential in crucial choices.

The Parliamentary Assembly should examine how, through the new media, young people are networking, thinking and acting together, building their own identity and shaping our societies. There is a need to find new approaches to make their voices more audible also in the traditional media, to dialogue with them to value their way to contribute to the social fabric, enhance the protection to those who might be more exposed and vulnerable to online harmful contents and empower the many who are seeking to build a better future.