The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Media Advocacy for UK Children and Young People

Responding to the Crisis of Childhood

On February 28th 2024 the Children's Media Summit saw the launch of a new CMF Campaign to rebuild public service content for young people.

 

Read the Campaign Document

Sign Up In Support

CMF Award

In November 2023 the Foundation was the proud recipient of the Voice of the Viewer and Listener Special Award for Contribution to Children's Broadcasting.

 

 

 

 

CMF at CMC

The Children's Media Foundation produced two key policy discussions as sessions at the annual Children's Media Conference in Sheffield.

 
 

CMC Question Time

CMC Debate: Public Service RIP?

Public Service Media Report

Explore the CMF multi-authored Report: "Our Children's Future: Does Public Service Media Matter?"

 
 

About the PSM Report

Report Articles


Support the CMF Campaign

At the Children's Media Summit on February 28th, the Foundation launched a campaign to persuade government to take action to address the huge shifts occurring as older children and teenagers migrate to new and unregulated video-sharing platforms where very little UK public service content features in their media diet.

Read the campaign document Sign to support

This affects not only young people themselves - their well-being and sense of self - but has long term implications for UK culture and society (especially the future of public service loyalty) if they fail to find relevant and appropriate UK content on the online platforms. Meanwhile the loss of audience is already impacting on the children's media industry, as commissioning reduces in response to the lost revenue.

The Summit was hosted by the Children's Media Foundation in response to concerns expressed at last July's Children's Media Conference. A series of meetings with broadcasters and producers' associations during Autumn 2023 led to the event on February 28th which welcomed industry professionals, academics and children's advocates.


Media Bill - Not Enough

The second reading of the Media Bill took place in the House of Lords on 28th February 2024.  Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Benjamin made an impassioned plea for more thought to be given to the special conditions in the children's market which the Bill fails to address - issues which were being simultaneously debated at the CMF-convened Children's Media Summit.

The second reading of the Media Bill took place in the House of Commons on 21st November 2023. The Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Thangam Debbonnaire was broadly supportive of the Bill but took time to point out that the Bill is ineffective in addressing the huge proportion of the audience aged seven and over that has deserted linear broadcasting - especially public service television - for video streaming or shared video services such as YouTube and TikTok.

The statement echoes CMF's biggest concern that legislators are sleepwalking into a situation which fails to recognise the realities of kids' and teens' viewing and how this will impact on public service loyalty in the future.

Subsequently, in the Committee Stage of the Bill on 12th December, Shadow Minister Stephanie Peacock tabled an Amendment requiring the government to investigate the special issues related to the children's audience within six months of the Media Bill becoming law. This was not passed. But once again it shows CMF has stimulated political awareness of the issues and the need to explore new thinking about how children are viewing media and how public service provision is diminished as a result.

Campaign Coalitions

CMF is allied to the Citizens’ Forum for Public Service Media, a group of organisations which has concerns about the Media Bill, particularly around the failure of the Bill to properly identify the public service media genres apart from news and children's content, and around the Bill's capacity to truly create prominence for public service content on VoD platforms. The Citizens' PSM Forum briefing on the Media Bill can be found here.

CMF is also a member of the Broadcast 2040 Campaign.


Online Regulation

CMF worked as part of the 5 Rights Children's Coalition to ensure the Online Safety Bill (which became law in October 2023) was best suited to ensure child safety "by design" on line.  CEO of 5Rights, Baroness Beeban Kidron, has celebrated the success the coalition of charities and expert organisations achieved in strengthening the Bill's provisions.


Children's Media Yearbook

The Children's Media Yearbook 2023 is packed with articles and research reflecting on the past year in children's media and the future of kids' and youth content. You can order a print copy for £15.00 or download a digital version for £12

Take a look at the contents. And CMF's annual review of political and regulatory issues: "Sleepwalking into the Future".

Previous Yearbooks, including 2020, 2021 and 2022 are also now available as print or digital copies.


Sleepwalking Over the Edge

This CMF event on 17th May explored the consequences of the "lost audience". As kids in ever greater numbers desert public service media channels for YouTube, TikTok and the streamers, what are the implications as they reach adulthood - for them as engaged citizens, and for society, if a generation of young people grow up with no concept of public service media, its value and purposes.


"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 Lifetime Patron,

The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)