Sheringham youngster gets national accolade

A teenager from Sheringham has won a national award for his work fighting for a more positive representation of young people in the media.Jacob Rix was given the press and media prize at the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) Awards at the House of Commons last week.

A teenager from Sheringham has won a national award for his work fighting for a more positive representation of young people in the media.

Jacob Rix was given the press and media prize at the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) Awards at the House of Commons last week.

The 16-year-old was elected as the UKYP member for north Norfolk in February 2008, and had been the media representative for the east since the end of last year.

The award recognised Jacob's work speaking up for young people on radio and in newspapers, as well as giving his fellow youth parliament members a chance to voice their opinions.


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Jacob, who lives with his mum and 11-year-old sister, said it was 'vital' to change the way youngsters were represented.

He added: 'One of the things with the media is the fact that there is a negative slant on young people - 90pc of stories on young people are negative, and out of those only one in 10 bother to get a quote from a young person.

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'We could end up with a divided society, where young people feel so excluded they do start acting anti-socially.'

The teenager is at Sheringham High School, studying for his GCSEs, and said his responsibilities as a MYP often got in the way of his normal teenage life.

He said: 'I spend about six hours a week, or more, doing things for UKYP, and then I go away quite often at weekends. But I think it's worth all the hard work. I meet so many fantastic and amazing young people.'

While his school friends are out kicking footballs and playing computer games, Jacob is campaigning for the abolition of university fees or preparing for a debate in the Houses of Parliament - which has led to a bit of good-natured banter.

'I'm often teased for being a politician. When I start to speak in class they say 'here's the politician',' he said.

But while it would be easy to assume he has his eyes set on the keys to No 10, Jacob does not plan to become the next Gordon Brown, David Cameron or Nick Clegg.

He said: 'UKYP is different from national politics. Some people feel they are achieving more doing this. We are not all young politicians. I'm hoping to read law and then join the bar and become a barrister.'

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