The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

The Media Advocacy Organisation for UK Children and Young People

Advertising Ban - Consultation and Response

The government consultation on a potential extension of the advertising ban on foods high in salt, sugar and fat has closed and CMF has responded.  

You can read CMF Deputy Director Colin Ward's article about our position, and the consultation response.

Children's Media Yearbook

The new 2019 edition of the Children's Media Yearbook is available now.

Published by CMF, the seventh Yearbook is packed with articles on the way children watch, the latest trends in content, research outcomes, policy discussions and news of success and innovation in every field of children's media.

It's available to download (cost: £7.95), or in hard copy which delivers within a few days (cost: £10 + p&p).

CMF at CMC 2019

The 16th Children's Media Conference takes place in Sheffield from 2nd to 4th July. CMF will be represented fully at this important industry event.

The Opening Question Time-style session, which explores all the policy matters facing content makers and distributors, will once again be sponsored and produced by CMF. We'll bring together regulators, policy makers, broadcasters, and industry associations to consider the issues.

CMF Executive Group members will also produce a timely session on the future of the internet and its relationship with kids - reflecting on the government's White Paper "Online Harms" and exploring initiatives like the Five Rights campaign, and how social media platforms may finally have to address their failure to serve younger users.

And the new Children's Media Yearbook 2019 - in part reflecting CMC insights and information - will be distributed to all delegates at the conference.

CMF are offering supporters and patrons discounted tickets to the Conference at £390+VAT - a massive £120 saving on a full-price ticket.  Signing up as a supporter costs just £25 - so the maths is simple!

Supporters and patrons can mail us to access the CMC discount code.

Young Audiences Content Fund

After years of campaigning by CMF and others, the fund to create new public service content for children and young people has become a reality.  

The YAC Fund, which launched on April 1st 2019, will distribute approximately £57m of funding over the course of its three year pilot - for development and production of content from children and teens. The BFI have recruited their team including Jackie Edwards, the former Head of Acquisitions and Independent Animation at BBC Children's, and they will be based in Manchester and Leeds. Criteria for application are now live on the BFI website.

This is major success, after years of lobbying by CMF - first, to create awareness amongst politicians that a fund was needed, and then to ensure that the fund would dedicate its resources to the younger audience.  It provides new opportunities fo ruth commercial public service broadcasters to enhance their offering for young people, for producers to pitch more ideas, to innovate and widen the pool of content, and all of that is of major benefit to the UK children's and youth audience.

Making the Internet Safe

CMF is contributing to a number of the debates on various aspects of internet safety for children and young people. We believe that in general the major platform and social media providers should do more to make their sites "default family friendly", to improve media literacy amongst parents, and provide parental controls that are "default on".

The government have launched their Online Harms White Paper - CMF will respond.

The House of Lords Communications Committee is conducting an inquiry into potential regulation of the internet.  CMF contributed to this in May 2018.

Screen Time Debate

A call by Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health, for guidelines on screen time for young people led CMF to consider what young people themselves thought of their use of screens and the time spent on them - particularly for social media or gaming. The results of our survey, conducted by research partners Dubit, with input from our Academic Advisory Board, make fascinating reading.

Read our Digest here.  Or the Full Report here.

Ofcom Review and the Future of PSB for Kids

The Ofcom Children's Content Review identified three main issues with the supply of programmes by the commercial public service broadcasters:

  • A lack of original, high-quality programmes specifically made for older children across all genres
  • A limited range of programmes that help children understand the world around them
  • A limited range of original, high quality children’s programmes that allow UK children of all ages and backgrounds to see themselves and their lives reflected on screen

CMF's reaction to the Report findings and recommendations can be seen here.

Ofcom acknowledged the complexity of contemporary kids' media so chose not regulate at this time. Instead they wrote to ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 with a request to them to formulate proposals to improve provision by March 2019.

Those proposals are now with the regulator for consideration and Ofcom will outline its next steps in the summer 0f 2019.

"Children, and the media they use, are frequent topics of public concern and debate. The Children's Media Foundation will stimulate and participate in this debate - across the entire range of media that children experience."

Sir Philip Pullman, Author and Founder Patron,