Your editorial of August 11 titled “The role of youth” caught my attention for both its timeliness and substance. While there is an abundance of enthusiasm for the prospects of oil and other natural resources, there is little or no concomitant zeal to recognise, prepare and develop our most important national resource, i.e. human, and in particular, the younger folks.
You ended your editorial with the following: “It is time our youths step out of the shadows of social media and make useful contributions to the national development ideal – not as creatures of the political parties, parroting the party line – but as invested stakeholders and gatekeepers of their inheritance, that is, the national patrimony.”
For this to become a reality, the media has a salient role to recognise and publicise efforts of young people and groups who are vocal on public policy issues and advocacy.
The media plays a crucial role in agenda setting and influencing the public consciousness by creating “pictures in our heads” about what is prominent and important in public affairs. It is about time the media identify such young persons and groups and provide coverage that raises their public profile so as to offer alternative voices and faces to the current old and tired we seem to read and hear about daily.