The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Media Advocacy for UK Children and Young People

Responding to the Crisis of Childhood

The Children's Media Summit on February 28th 2024 launched a new CMF Campaign to rebuild public service content for young people.

 

Campaign Information

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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 issue of older children and teenagers migrating to new and unregulated video-sharing platforms where very little UK public service content features in their media diet.

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

The Summit sessions can be watched on the CMF YouTube Channel. It 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 - Final Stages

The Media Bill has now been passed by the House of Lords and returns to the Commons on 24th May for its final stages before becoming law.

Baroness Benjamin with the help of the Children's Media Foundation proposed her amendment once again, to require that the serious issues in the children's media sector are investigated within 12 months of the Bill becoming law.  Her passionate speech reveals the urgency and seriousness of the situation the young audience finds itself in.

Her amendment gained support from the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats but was not accepted by the government. The reason given was that Ofcom will undertake this investigation as part of the Public Service Media Review which will start in December 2024.

So attention must now turn to Ofcom who need to explain how their plans for the PSB Review will take into account young people's migration away from broadcasting and onto YouTube, TikTok and other platforms.  CMF will campaign to ensure that children's needs will be addressed and that the Review won't shy away from innovative thinking about how public service content should be funded in future and how regulation could ensure prominence on new platforms.

Attempts to amend the Bill reveal strong support in Parliament - which suggest that in future action could be taken to mitigate the effects of young people watching content not intended for them on largely unregulated platforms, and which fails to offer a balanced, culturally relevant and inclusive view of the society in which they live.

In the Bill's Committee Stage on 8th May, Baroness Thornton for Labour and Baroness Benjamin for the Liberal Democrats proposed amendments requiring the government to set up a review.

On 28th February 2024, in the Second Reading in the House of Lords, Baroness Benjamin made an impassioned plea about the special conditions in the children's market which the Media Bill fails to address - issues simultaneously debated at the Children's Media Summit.

In the Commons Committee Stage on 12th December 2023, Shadow Minister Stephanie Peacock tabled an Amendment requiring a special investigation and previously, the Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Thangam Debbonnaire had pointed out that the Bill is ineffective in addressing the huge proportion of the audience aged seven and over that has deserted linear broadcasting.


Online Safety - Ofcom's Responsibilities

The Online Safety Act empowers Ofcom to enforce strong requirements on tech companies to provide children with a high level of protection, mitigate risks and harms, and ensure services are safe by design. CMF is part of the Children’s Coalition for Online Safety led by 5 Rights which in April 2024 set out five key recommendations for Ofcom which serve as the baseline for what is expected of tech companies to meet their obligations in the Act.

On 8th May Ofcom published its consultation document on the Draft Codes they have prepared to ensure greater safety online for young people.


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.


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.


"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)