Heroes and Superheroes
Who are kids' heroes? Are they reflected in children's media? Can we use attributes that kids respect in building the next generation of media heroes and superheroes? Hear findings from the "My Hero" project, followed by discussion with leading producers.
That was the description of a panel discussion in New York's Hilton (see blog on 31 March 2011)
Without having attended the Kidscreen Summit, and without transcripts, I can only speculate on the event. So let's analyse what we have available.
Who are kids' heroes? - That seems a fair enough question.
Are they reflected in children's media? - Another fair question.
Can we use attributes that kids respect in building the next generation of media heroes and superheroes? - Right, this is where things get a bit more complex. Because it looks to me like kids' heroes are actually influenced by people in the media and their perceived financial interests.
Hear findings from the "My Hero" project, followed by discussion with leading producers. - "My Hero" is a US-based organisation set up by parents to offset the lack of "positive role models" in the media. Only a few days ago in Britain BBC newsreader, Jane Hill who is LGB, commented: It’s 2011 – do we not have a right to see ourselves reflected? Stonewall’s Unseen on Screen research showed how little positive representation there is of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
American attitudes are a world apart from British attitudes, and the "My Hero" project, which claims to "celebrate the best of humanity," is primarily for Americans. Try searching for an American politician - Barack Obama is an obvious choice. Now try searching for David Cameron or Ed Miliband.
So why have UK licence-payers been funding Joe Godwin, Director of BBC Children's, to attend the New York Hilton and participate in an event which has little relevance to a British audience? Joe Godwin does check out this blog, so maybe he would like to explain his reasons for attending. I'd be happy to publish Joe's viewpoint should a response be forthcoming.