Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Children's Media Conference - part 1

The Children's Media Conference, formerly Showcomotion, will be starting next Wednesday, so Newsround Blog will be taking a closer look at what needs to be done to rejuvenate kids' TV. Unlike many other industries its decline isn't simply a consequence of the economic downturn. Anyone involved will know that there were problems with kids' TV well before the credit crunch and the recession. So what exactly led to the current situation?

Let's start by looking at what Save Kids' TV were saying in 2006. They said that British children’s television had been widely acknowledged as amongst the most creative and innovative in the world. But they warned that changes in children’s viewing patterns, together with the threat of Ofcom's ban on certain types of advertising to children, would put a huge strain on commercial broadcasters.

SKTV noted that, despite there seeming to be an enormous choice in children’s viewing, the many channels available only offered a limited number of new high-quality programmes produced in the UK with British kids’ interests at their core. And importantly they said "We believe that our kids need programmes which reflect their lives back to them. This is a vital ingredient for a healthy, balanced childhood and to produce engaged and empowered citizens of the future."

Four years on, in 2010, there's no doubt that Ofcom's restriction on junk food advertising has made things worse for the commercial sector. And although the BBC is now one of the only markets for new kids' programmes, few appreciate that the Corporation has had a significant role in weakening British children's TV. How all this came about will be explained in part 2.

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