There were three key types of analysis utilised in the report, these include:
In the overview part of the analysis, we searched online news items, looking for a range of terms that defined or were synonymous with ‘young people’ in headlines and body copy of Australian online news articles. The full list of keyword terms can be found in the appendix of the report.
For the purpose of this analysis, we utilised a keyword search that included a number of keywords that relate to young people e.g. “young people”, “generation z”, “zoomer”, “young graduate” (please see the appendix in the report for a full list of keywords).
We acknowledge that news should be neutral, and objectivity is the goal. As such the report is not advocating for uncritical coverage of any generation, though it is noticeable that in each of the issue areas analysed there were significant differences in the sentiment of articles, indicating that people are treated differently by the media based on their age. We used a spectrum model where we looked at:
The ABC, SBS, The Age (plus syndication), Herald Sun (plus syndication), Australian Financial Review, and The Australian.
This selection was based on two considerations:
The report analysed the six mainstream online news publications for the presence of five stereotypes about young people. These stereotypes were selected based on their presence in the existing coverage of young people in Australian news media. The selected stereotypes effectively undermine young people, so our analysis sought to understand how widespread their use was and propose alternative ways of reporting on and engaging young people in media.
The five stereotypes were:
1.Young people lack resilience / are lazy
2.Young people are criminal / dangerous
3.Young people are entitled
4.Young people are a homogenous group
5.Young people can’t make the right decisions
To search for them, a range of keywords that defined or were synonymous with each stereotype was searched for when appearing alongside keywords used to define young people. This analysis also used existing articles containing these stereotypes as a reference. Whether or not a young person was quoted, where they were quoted, and if data was cited to substantiate a claim were considered. The full methodology can be found in the appendix of the report.
The report identified five key issue areas for analysis, these areas were chosen as they relate critically to the wellbeing of young people and influence their ability to have agency over their lives. They were also topical issues during the time period analysed. They include:
We analysed articles relating to the below generations, the analysis excluded the generation below Generation Z and the Generation above Baby Boomers.