Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Empowering kids - Part 2

This entry is the second part of the 15 February 2007 blog, where I said we would be comparing some aspects of kids' TV in the UK and in the Netherlands. In this country TV is run by managers, producers, editors etc who nearly always have the main say in what programmes get to be made and how exactly they deal with their subject, whether the programmes are for kids or adults. But in Holland there is kids' TV where kids themselves get to decide what goes into the programmes. It's called Z@ppelin or Z@pp for older kids.

Z@ppelin was started by Cathy Spierenburg and it was her decision that it was important kids should decide for themselves what they watch. That kids should be empowered. Z@pp has its own TV magazine, and it has kids on the "Board of Z@pp Supervisors." There are about 60 children on the Board who meet regularly and make recommendations and give their views on programmes and broadcast times. They have organised a debate between the political parties in the Dutch general election.

These are things that programme makers in this country should look at very seriously, because I think that the Newsround presspacker idea is a good one in principle, where the presspackers themselves should have the major say in what goes into their reports. But I suspect that, at the moment, the presspacker reports are influenced to a significant degree by the people running Newsround.

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