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“The youth are a majority. We are living in a new era, and it's our time.”

Enrique Franco. Photo by El Churo.

The Reframed Stories Project asks people to respond to dominant themes and issues that appear in news coverage about their communities. These stories are reflections by people who are frequently represented by others in the media. Word clouds are created using the Media Cloud platform, a data analysis tool which examines a collection of media outlets over a specific period of time, allowing participants to analyze and discuss the preliminary insights into how they might be represented in the media. The project refrains from making conclusive pronouncements about the data, and instead is a starting point that creates space for discussion about how they can help shape their own media representation through digital media.

Enrique Franco is a member of Centro de juventudes de Esmeraldas (Youth Center of Esmeraldas), a human rights organization in Esmeraldas, Ecuador that works with children, teenagers, and the LGBTI community. One of its primary activities is the weekly radio program La Calle Habla (The Street Talks), a place for discussion and debate about issues facing their community. The following is a transcript of the audio podcast about Enrique's analysis of the word cloud for the term, “joven” (youth).

Dominant words from 8,811 articles published between January 2017 and April 2018 found mentioning “joven” (youth) within four Media Cloud collections of Ecuador’s Spanish-language media outlets. (view larger image)

What about the word cloud drew your attention most?

La palabra que yo escogí fue ‘joven’. Escogí la palabra joven porque me parece algo de impacto, ya que la juventud es mayoría, ya que estamos viviendo la nueva era y es nuestra época.

The word [cloud] that I chose was ‘youth’. I chose the word ‘youth’ because I feel that it has an impact because the youth are a majority. We are living a new era, and it's our time.

According to the word cloud, how are young people represented in the media?

Salieron muchas palabras, aquellas tenían a acusar a los jóvenes, no dar un realce y mucho menos a gratificar su aporte en la sociedad.

Una de las palabras que más me llamó la atención fue la palabra ‘falleció’. En realidad los medios enfocan las palabras que actualmente la sociedad considera que es un tabú, porque son temas muy hablados que supuestamente se consideran, actualmente, problemas. Porque en realidad acusan a la juventud como un problema, personas que no dan un aporte a la sociedad y que en realidad no sirven.

Many words appear, words that accuse the youth, take away encouragement and refuse any acknowledgment of their contributions to society.

One of the words that drew my attention was the word “died.” In reality, the media focuses on the words that society considers to be taboo because they are issues that are widely talked about and supposedly are current problems. In reality, they accuse young people of being problems, people who don't contribute to society and have no worth.

How should young people be represented in the media?

Las palabras que creo yo que deberían estar serían la inclusión, el aporte de los jóvenes en la sociedad y la nueva juventud política.

I think words such as inclusion, youth contribution to society, the new political youth should be [represented in the media].

What words should a word cloud for ‘youth’ have?

Aporte, nueva generación, inteligencia, además también pondrían los nuevos logros.

Contribution, new generation, intelligence, and also new accomplishments.

This is part of a Rising Frames series developed in close collaboration with the organization El Churo based in Quito, Ecuador. They organized a workshop held on May 4, 2018 in Esmeraldas, Ecuador that brought together representatives from various collectives and groups to examine how they or issues they care about are represented in a collection of Ecuadorian media and created stories in response to that representation.

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