Youth Media Agency WINS Excellence in Diversity Award 2015

Youth Media Agency

YES!!!!!…on Thursday 14 May Youth Media Agency won the DIVERSITY MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR AWARD at the Excellence in Diversity Awards 2015 for our #presschange4youth campaign. “We feel totally overwhelmed to have won, the campaign was set up to back up our submission to Leveson to encourage more balanced reporting of young people in the UK. This Award is for the hundreds of organisations, journalists, MPs, celebrities and most importantly all the young people involved, especially those that led the campaign including Hiran Adhia, Louis Howell, Ruben Massiah, Dennis Giamfi, Emma Dennis-Edwards, Hannah Vincent and Matteo Bergamini” Susana, Director. We believe it has had a massive influence on how journalists and editors report on young people and encouraging mainstream to include youth voices working with Telegraph, BBC, Channel 4, London Live, Independent and many others.

Here are some words from HIRAN ADHIA, #PRESSCHANGE4YOUTH Campaign Manager from 2011 – 2014 and currently Editor of WARWICK BOAR

“In 2009, Children and Young People Now reported that 76% of UK press coverage of young people was negative. This was off the back of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child urging the government to take “urgent measures to address the intolerance and inappropriate characterization of children, especially adolescents, with society, including the media” in 2008. It was clear that by the time we started the campaign in 2012, nothing had been done and that the Leveson Inquiry might be the only chance in a generation to prevent the media from degrading and undermining the achievements of young people. Something had to be done.

Words like hoodie, gang, yob, thug and feral stuck like a rash to many young people that I spoke to who were amazing in their own right. But the media didn’t want to listen, they wanted to label them. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy, there were no positive role models for my friends to find, because there simply weren’t any meaningful stories being written about them. In our first meeting, we looked through a national newspaper and tried to find a piece of good news about a young person, yet we couldn’t find a single thing. However, there were plenty about the recent London riots and it was clear how quickly young people were the first to be victimised.

We put together a consultation and developed evidence and recommendations for the Leveson Inquiry. The campaign spread like wildfire and over 105 organisations pledged their support. We put together a film that was screened at various venues like Rich Mix, Parliament, gaining over 2,000 hits on YouTube. We were even invited onto BBC London Radio 94.9FM to talk about it, as well as demonstrating outside the Royal Courts of Justice and working with key partners across mainstream and youth media to build these strong relationships together.

A personal highlight for me was seeing our names in the Leveson Report (Volume 2 Clause 3.23) which was unimaginably brilliant. I was even fortunate enough to speak to Prime Minister, David Cameron, at Downing Street about putting this issue higher up the agenda. It was a whirlwind journey that surprisingly enough started in a small meeting room in an office on Old Street. Look how far we have come.

It remains one of my proudest and most gratifying achievements, showing that young people, with enough support, can enact real change. It was very emotional to see us win the Excellence in Diversity Award for Best Marketing Campaign 2015 – I am so glad that young people are finally getting the recognition that they deserve. My sincere thanks to Susana Giner, Director at YMA, for being one of the most enthusiastic, passionate and loving individuals I have  had the pleasure of working with. She is the reason the campaign exists, and we are forever thankful for her efforts.”

Source: Youth Media Agency –



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