The Children’s Media Foundation is active in the political sphere, lobbying for support for children’s media with Government Ministries, in Parliament and at Party Conferences.
The APPG meets regularly as a forum to provide members of both Houses with information and insight into the fast-moving world of children, their media and cultural activity. The APPG Newsletter provides members with background to the key issues as they emerge, with research insights and contact with the wider world of media and the arts for young people.
From the initial twenty registered members, the group has grown to approximately 80 parliamentarians, from both Houses and across the political spectrum. . Despite other priorities and busy schedules, the group has kept children’s media and arts on the political agenda.
APPG Headlines 2011-12
- A report – “What Children are Really Doing Online” by Ian Douthwaite at Dubit Ltd was made available online to all parliamentarians.
- The APPG newsletter was developed so that time-pressed members could be kept informed of news from the children’s arts and media world.
- A meeting with UK Animation was held (14th March 2012) prior to the budget, gathering further support and momentum for the campaign and leading to the announcement of a tax break for animation in the 2012 budget.
- Baroness Benjamin chaired the Westminster Media Forum session on Financing Children’s Media.
- Baroness Benjamin chaired Westminster Education Forum on the next steps for cultural education.
- The Bailey Review was revisited (12th June 2012) with its author, Reg Bailey in attendance, to see if it has “put the brakes on the unthinking drift to greater sexualisation and commercialisation of children.”
There is still much to do: older children are still underserved on television, the Internet needs to be safer, and children’s theatre is under threat. In raising awareness of such issues, the group will endeavour to uphold the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, that states every child has the right to enjoy and participate in cultural and artistic activities, be given news and information appropriately, and educated so that their personality, talents and abilities are developed to the full.
Jayne Kirkham, APPG Secretary for CMF