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Ageism in the media

 Line of Knowledge: Social politics
 Author: del Barrio, E.
Portada publicación: Edadismo en los medios de comunicación

Age discrimination or ageism is an undeniable reality, but it is a very recent phenomenon compared to other forms of discrimination, as the concept did not even exist until the 1960s. This discrimination is closely related to negative stereotypes towards older people, to the idea that they are not capable of doing the things that other people do and to the approach to ageing as a problem and not as a social success.

This text is part of a publication edited by the Imserso which brings together a series of articles and testimonies that illustrate the many faces of this type of discrimination.

The contribution by Elena del Barrio, co-director of the Matia Institute, analyses the treatment given by the media to news stories featuring or related to the elderly, which tends to support an ageist narrative that tends to homogenise a group that is characterised by the opposite, its diversity.

It is essential, given the role played by this sector in the creation of the social imaginary and discourse on old age and older people, to include age in the code of ethics of journalism as a form of discrimination to which attention must be paid and to be extremely zealous in refraining from referring to people in a derogatory or prejudiced way because they are of a certain age.