Monday, October 11, 2010

How children lost out from ITV cuts

In The Yorkshire Post, writer and producer Colin Ward explains why the Save Kids TV campaign (which the Writers' Guild supports) believes that ITV's decision to stop making children's programmes in 2006 has been so damaging.
Save Kids TV was set up in the wake of the closure of ITV's children's production department. It's a coalition of producers, parents, educational experts and academics, who work together to highlight the importance of quality, UK-produced children's media. Although Save Kids TV is campaigning for a return to the levels of investment in children's media we had back in the 1990s, [writer and campaigner, Jayne] Kirkham insists it's not a backward-looking organisation.

"We are not interested in nostalgia and we don't want to return to some ideal world of children's TV that, in reality, never existed. But the audience viewing figures clearly demonstrate that children want to watch television made in the UK and, at the moment, their only real option for that mix of programming is the BBC. We think it's time society started investing in young people." Save Kids' TV argues that UK-produced children's media is uniquely valuable, because it is the only age-appropriate content that reflects the language and life experiences of British children. Ten years ago, that's exactly what ITV was doing very successfully.

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