had breakfast this morning with dave wiles of frontier youth trust (we enjoy a good breakfast perhaps more often than we should)… we got talking about how the press report on young people and how you’d never step outside the house if you believed the negative bias in the media. dave chucked a few stats at me and i thought they’d make a great cartoon done as alternative headlines. so, thanks dave, for the stimulating conversation as always.

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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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39 Responses to 851

  1. Forrest says:

    “One bad apple spoils the bunch”

  2. jonbirch says:

    hmmmmm… young people? apples? i think it’s more a case of headline upon headline spoiling the reputation of the young.

  3. Forrest says:

    True about the headlines – it has been noticed that negative sells and gets the ratings.

  4. I have to say, the real world newspaper headlines that run about these kinds of things really make being a parent a scary thing. How in the world can I possibly raise good kids when such a large percentage are out there doing drugs (and each other) at such an early age. Oh wait…. that’s just hype to sell ad space.

  5. Miriworm says:

    Article in London’s Metro paper yesterday about youth workers being alarmed at number of drunk kids turning up at clubs and needing to be hospitalised these days. Had a couple of experiences of this myself as a youth worker a few years back, but wondered how wide spread it really was. Any comments/experiences?

  6. Stumpy says:

    Well Mr Birch, I hope you both had Sausages!

    Your headlines do put an interesting slant on sensationalism.

  7. Sophie says:

    Have you ever seen Newswipe? BBC4 last night. takes apart news coverage quite nicely – it’s a tad on the angry side, but also v funny. The other week there was a brilliant part about the terror alert going up. There appeared to be no real reason for it. Only to make us feel scared. Nice.

    I remember when I was a teenager, I’d go to the kebab shop and ther would be a group of ‘hard lads’ there. If I hadn’t been to primary school with them I would have been nervy, but as it was, I did know them, and I knew they were nice, so I just said hello. However, if I didn’t know them, and beleived all the hype, it would have been a different experience. I thought at the time that I should try to remember, when I saw groups of teens that I didn’t know, they’re just people too, and so there’s no reason to beleive they’re scary.

  8. marcus says:

    could it be the same about “church” and our often negative view on what’s bad about the institutionalized church?

  9. subo says:

    just show’s everyone’s using skunk, ketamin & cider

    – didn’t you know heroin makes you smell, cigs give you bad skin and the e tabs around are all fake?

  10. Do you have a link for fyt’s research re media and % column inches negatively reporting young people? I was looking for it only the other day!

    Also – good to see you’ve got wptouch plugged in (although I mostly read through google reader)

    cheers. peace. David

  11. Young people are every bit as depraved and bad as old people. We all sin when we suppress the truth that God is enough.

  12. chris says:

    oh, this is brilliant!

  13. chris says:

    The youth of today love luxury; they have bad manners and contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Youth are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up food at the table, and tyrannize their teachers.
    –Socrates as quoted in Plato’s “The Republic.” (around 407 bc)

  14. jonbirch says:

    Ed… or… Young people are every bit as wonderful as old people. We all shine when we live the truth that God is enough… just a thought. :-)

  15. Carole says:

    Haha! Chris – I was waiting for someone to start quoting the Greeks…it’s a bit like, er, what do you call it when people resort to drawing comparisons to Hitler and Nazi Germany to win an argument? Well, whatever, it made me chuckle.

    Yes, of course most young people are lovely and will grow up to influence society for the good, even the ones who find adolescence a truly painful experience and take every opportunity to let you know it (I think I was one of those). That said, I know some truly unpleasant young characters, too. But I don’t think that my generation is always particularly good at looking after their kids and teaching by example…often too busy mis-managing their own lives. :( For a lot of kids I’ve encountered, the grandparents are the only stable influence in their lives. And let’s hear it for young carers who somehow manage to balance real responsibility with school work and have precious little time for childhood in between. Real unsung heroes and more numerous than you might think.

  16. chris says:

    oh. was that cliche? I didn’t know it…

    But I do think it’s true, that there have always unpleasant characters of all age ages, and we’ve always loved to be shocked by them.
    Stories of kids killing their teachers and raping young girls have been around for over a thousand years…
    And while, I have regrettably told my own kids “Well, when I was a kid, blah..blah..blah” there are things from my teenage years that I really would prefer them not get into!

    I think maybe we try to block those things out…

    I liked Sophie’s story (number 7) of the kebab shop kids, reminded me of the “druggies” from the flats near where I lived, the people from the other villages were terrified of them, but the people they’d grown up with, and took the time to talk to them, were quite fond of them.

  17. youthworkerpete says:

    I love the alternative headlines.

    Sadly, even at our diocesan youth workers meetings, youth workers play the ‘my young people are more disaffected and disadvantaged than your young people game’.

    The need to prove how ‘bad’ our young people are seems to have soaked into the profession that is supposed to be on their side! Quite probably due to the current funding culture.

    Not good.

  18. jonbirch says:

    not good at all ywp… sounds like a genuine problem. from my knowledge it does appear that in order to get funding you first how to prove how crap your kids are.

  19. jonbirch says:

    it’s someone’s law, isn’t it, carole? where’s robb when you need him?! :-)

  20. Carole says:

    Sorry, Chris, I feel bad now! I have encountered this counter-argument to the the ‘Youth of today’ debate a few times, probably most notably as a PowerPoint slide. Perhaps it’s just co-incidence.

    Jon – is it Godwin’s Law or something?

  21. jonbirch says:

    yeh, that’s it! godwin’s law! that’s a relief, i’ll be able to sleep now! :-)

    it is funny, i think, that socrates was the same kid of grumpy old man who we see today. misbehaving kids, grumpy old men… they’ve existed since time immemorial. :-)

  22. soniamain says:

    the newspaper who say the oppersite to the cartoon are very very stupid because lots and lots of children dont smoke or take drugs!

  23. chris says:

    oops… i may have used several similar quotes in a recent message on children, Carole, i won’t mention any of the others just incase!! : P
    I think we all, at different times, have been both the misbehaving kid and the grumpy old (wo)men.

    I hope so anyway!

  24. soniamain says:

    the last message was from summer aged 10

  25. soniamain says:

    i ment comment number 22

  26. jonbirch says:

    summer at 22 is my god daughter! go summer!!! ;-)

    haha, chris… i am constantly both a grumpy old man and a misbehaving kid! :-)

  27. Andy says:

    hahahahahaha….thank you Jon…

    (sorry, was i supposed to have a serious response?)…

  28. will says:

    used this as an illustration yesterday when having a conversation with someone. They asked what i did and i said that part of my job was to work with young people. The 3 people listening all did a sharp intake of breath and said “Oh you’re brave, wouldn’t want your job!”

    So i said things like you mean with 1 in 10 11year olds smoking and 1 in 5 smoking cannabis?

    To which their reply was “exactly, how do you do it?”

    I then turned it around and gave the positive percentages that you showed here Jon. Then asked them to imagine that i hadn’t told them the first set of stats. They were shocked at how different it was. If started a great conversation about how headlines on certain newspapers make bad headline from good news!

  29. émie says:

    HELL YEAH!!!

  30. Dave says:

    Nice one Jon – the stat re 1 year olds smoking though should say that 99% of 1 year olds don’t smoke!!

    ps – what a great breakfast we get at the Busy Bee – Moorland Rd – plug plug plug!! dave

  31. Dave says:

    ‘1 year old’ should read ’11 year olds’ !! who does our proof reading!! dave :)

  32. jonbirch says:

    haha! it’s now corrected dave… thanks! :-) i think it may have been the heady maths in the last cartoon that put me off my small sums! :lol:
    oh well… didn’t einstein have that problem too? :-)

  33. subo says:

    ah well Summer, no 22. cigy’s give you bad breath, heroine makes you scratch like a chimp, e’s leave you talking rubbish and cannabis makes everyone boring, so guess your not missing much, however, it would be a sad day when young people lost a sense of adventure, a freedom to experiment, and started doing everything everyone tells them too – so here’s to the outrageous rebelliousness of youth, here’s to having a song in your heart and tuning into the whisper of God

    as for my memories of being 16, I didn’t have access to any of the above mentioned substances, and although my brother tried smoking tea leaves in roll ups, it didn’t appeal. however, I found the old testament filled with stories of people who were true to themselves, followed God and didn’t do what people told them, so I rebelled. – an experience for which I am forever thankful to God for

  34. @14 Jon – true, and I’m a glass is half full kind of person too! The point is that age is no barrier to badness, and just because young people get caught up in what the media presents as spectacular sinning doesn’t mean that grown ups are any better in their hearts. Older people are just better at hiding their depravity. We all need more grace as we grow old. God is younger than us by far. It’s not by accident that his kingdom belongs to kids.

  35. Hannah says:

    Hey Jon, I’m having real bother loading the images on asbo recently, is something different at your end or is it ‘me’? Haven’t seen any of your cartoons for a while!!! (sad times)

  36. Bo says:

    This reminds me of a great article I read some time ago, about newspapers.
    Of cause we all realise that a newspaper is a buisness, but what is it they sell?
    Actually they do not sell information, they do not sell news or entertainment.
    What a newspaper sell is readers.
    Readers with a certain profile, who will spend time reading ads.
    So the buisness model for a newspaper is to write stories that will attract readers, who can be sold as ad readers.

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