Monday, January 26, 2009

Saving Kids TV

On the WGGB website, Jane Kirkham asks if Ofcom's new public service broadcasting review can help stave off the threat to home-produced children's TV.
It is pleasing to see that, despite children’s TV not being listed as a top priority, Ofcom recognises “the value of choice in public service content for children”, and states that if this need for choice cannot be met sufficiently then “Government should consider funding specifically for children’s content.”

It's also heartening to see Ofcom calling for a speedy response, with decisions being made “within the next year”, recognising that “the current model of public service broadcasting is clearly no longer sustainable.”

However, on looking at the detail, the recommendations are conditional, with the caveat “If funding is available”. Government and broadcasters have been given an excuse to do nothing. Yet again children and their needs are in danger of being shuffled to back of the queue.

There needs to be a braver vision and more forward-thinking solution, before it is too late.


  1. SKTV is a no-brainer. Jayne Kirkham's valiantly listed all the reasons why it's vital for Britain to have a healthy, creative and thriving children's television industry. It also provides work for our members and thousands of others.

    But no one ever mentions that children's telly can be one of the most profitable sectors in broadcasting. There's a new generation of kids springing up every seven years, and good children's programmes can get repeated on various media for 20 or 30 years. Where else does one get that sort of return on an investment nowadays? Certainly not any bank I know!

  2. Really agree with Jane's post. I woke up to the news this morning to hear that children in the UK are officially (children's fund report to be published tomorrow I think) now more stressed and struggling than in any generation before. Why do we constantly overlook kids and their needs? Why is it ok to dismiss things as 'kids stuff'? Why is it ok to overlook kids' need for relevant stories and entertainment which speaks to them about their experience? Imagine the uproar if Songs of Praise was taken from the screens and replaced with some cheap TV evangelism from the US! The Daily Mail would be outraged... Where is that outrage on behalf of our children??? Thank you Jane for continuing to make the argument for kids TV so strongly.


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