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Following a story that appeared appeared in The News earlier this week about a Tatura New Years Eve party with 1300 planned attendees, The News has called on the community to work together to provide appropriate activities which interest older teenagers.

November 16, 2012 4:10am

There’s always much debate about stories such as those in today’s and Wednesday’s News about underage parties.

This party isn’t the first to raise the concerns of local police and the team at The News and we’re sure it won’t be the last.

Some people tell us the teenagers need something to do and they need to be trusted.

At The News we understand this, but people also have to remember we’re the ones doing the stories when things turn bad — and, even worse, when things turn fatal.

It’s for this reason we ask you to understand why we report stories like this. We understand it’s drawing attention to the event and perhaps encouraging more teenagers to attend and perhaps creating anger and therefore bad behaviour, but we don’t believe we can ignore the issue and we don’t believe this because, as part of this community, we worry.

As a news organisation we have been running stories about events happening in our community.

Recently, we ran a story every day for a week on different bands who would play in a Word and Mouth organised battle of the bands event.

We went as far as running videos of each band on www.sheppnews.com.au so youth could get a taste for their musical styles and to give them a hint of the talent they would see at the event.

Just last week we ran stories and covered a youth event called Live in the Park, where local bands again played for our region’s teenagers.

But, speaking to the organiser of the proposed New Year’s Eve party, she told us these weren’t the events she wanted to attend.

She wanted events at night, where teenagers in their later high school years could attend.

Her comments, and those of parents in the region, got us thinking.

How do we show the region’s youth we support them through the difficult teenage years?

We believe our community would support activities for these teenagers, but we’re not sure what or how to do it.

Is it underage discos?

Events just for 15 to 18-year-olds?

Moonlight cinema sessions featuring movies with a 15-plus rating?

Today The News would love to hear from you — the youth, the parents and the community.

How do we work together to ensure our teenagers are supported, happy and participating in fun events?

To have your say, search Shepparton News on Facebook, like our page and share your ideas.

This story originally appeared as an editorial in The News on Friday, November16.

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