“Youth Texts Are Created to Make the Audience Passive. Young People Are Under the Influence of Media Institutions, for Example, Television Now Escorts Young People Through Life.”How Far Do You Agree or Disagree with the

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In this 21st Century, people are growing up in a world saturated with media texts, ranging from television, films and music, to newspapers, video games and the Internet. Along with this rich media world, there has been an increasing concern about many youth problems in the society, for example, teenage pregnancy, risky sexual behaviour, campus violence, obesity and compulsive shopping, etc. Some people attribute this to media institutions, accusing them of creating youth media texts, i.e., media targeted toward teenagers and young adults, to make the young audience passive. Upon relevant evidences, I can only agree with the statement “youth people are under the influence of media institutions, for example, television now escorts young people through life”, but not the claim that “Youth texts are created to make the audience passive”.

Not as what suggested by the hypodermic model, young audiences are never passive in consuming media texts as couch potatoes. They are not blank sheets of paper on which media institutions can write whatsoever they want. Instead, having prior attitudes, ideas and beliefs, young people tend to reject those media texts which do not suit their tastes and appetites. Media texts which are considered by them as dull, old-fashioned, obsolete and paternalistic can seldom succeed to manipulate their ideas and values. Political propagandas and government advertisements with which the Hong Kong government tries to inject patriotic, anti-drug or anti-alcohol ideas into teenagers’ mind, for example, always utterly backfire. In particular, a recent series of political television advertisements with which the government tended to instil Chinese patriotism in Hong Kong citizens have been parodied by netizens, notably young people, through numerous imitative works on the Internet.

Instead of passively receiving all media texts and all either apparent or subtle messages, young audiences do make active decisions about what they consume in...
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