‘Give youths more space to tell stories’

Opposition MP Lenora Qereqeretabua, Ruth Khan, Broderick Mervyn and lawyer Aman Ravindra-Singh at the World Press Freedom Day event in Lautoka yesterday. Picture: FELIX CHAUDHARY

TRADITIONAL media outlets must give youths more space to tell their stories and conduct a study to find out what stories are relevant to the young people of today.

This was the view expressed by Broderick Mervyn, president of Lautoka-based youth organisation Ignite4Change.

He spoke to this newspaper during a World Press Freedom Day event organised by Ignite4Change and University of the South Pacific Lautoka campus.

“We discussed the role of the media in society and the critical part that journalists play in news gathering and dissemination and how young people could engage with them to tell their stories and highlight their issues,” he said.

“Young people are concerned that there is a lack of space given to youth issues in traditional media and the space that is provided is often very little or buried.

“This is why young people have moved to social media, there is a lot of scepticism and lack of confidence in going to the press.

“They would rather use social media — with the freedoms and creativity it provides — to highlight their issues or to announce events.

“Traditional media needs to review what’s important and what’s not — in terms of engaging young people.

“They have to find out what stories get traction with youths and what does not, if they want to grow their reader or viewership for the generations to come.”

Speakers at the event included National Federation Party parliamentarian Lenora Qereqeretabua, Fiji Labour Party candidate in the 2018 General Election Aman Ravindra-Singh and youth and mental health advocate Ruth Khan.

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