The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Campaigns

The CMF campaigns for:

  • Recognition of the uniquely important role media plays in the lives of young people.
  • Greater range and diversity in children’s media, through regulation, funding initiatives or other means - emphasising the need for UK-produced content.
  • The right for children and young people to access media without harm.

The CMF lobbies Parliament and Government, and responds to public consultations.

Latest campaign action

2019

July

CMF response to the government Online Harms White Paper.

June

CMF response to the government consultation on further advertising restrictions for products high in fat, salt and sugar.

April

The government launched their Online Harms White Paper - following the extensive Green Paper consultation in December 2017.

The Information Commissioner's Office has issued a draft guideline on age appropriate design with the aim of creating a code of practice for online services. CMF's consultation response is here.

March

The House of Lords Communications Select Committee launched an Inquiry into Public Service Broadcasting in the Age of Video on Demand. The CMF response is here.

The government announced a consultation on further advertising restrictions for products high in fat, salt and sugar. Their aim is to reduce children’s exposure to HFSS advertising, to reduce children’s overconsumption of these products, to tackle childhood obesity.  CMF is drafting a response

Feb

The BFI shared their draft criteria for producers applying to the Young Audiences Content Fund (formerly the Contestable Fund).

CMF responded with a number of questions, and expressed concern that the way the criteria were formulated could allow organisations providing platforms for the proposed content to avoid co-financing. Some of CMF's practical suggestions were incorporated into the final version of the guidelines.

Subsequently in private and at a meeting of the Children's Media and the Arts APPG, the BFI has reassured that, as a pilot, the Fund will remain flexible and responsive to uptake and any difficulties being experienced by producers in accessing it. They have also clarified that they will not fund projects for platforms that do not come up with at least some of the match funding.

2018

Dec

Ofcom consulted on new guidelines on how to handle age verification around "specially restricted material" as defined in the BBFC film certification process, when the restricted material appears on  Video on Demand services. The CMF response makes it clear we consider the new guideline too limited, as it appears to avoid considering harms other than those associated with pornography.

Oct

The DCMS has handed over the plans for their newly announced Young Audiences Content Fund to the British Film Institute, which will fine-tune the criteria and operation of the Fund prior to launch in April 2019.

A DCMS policy paper revealed the detailed plans for the Contestable Fund - including £57m over tree years for a Young Audiences Content Fund to be fine tuned and operated by the BFI. The Fund will provide up to 50% of finance for projects that will be shown on a platform that is free at the point of use (which suggests ITV, Channel 4 or Channel 5). Content proposals will have to meet criteria around diversity, nations and regions representation, quality and innovation. Content for indigenous UK languages will make up 5% of the output.  There will also be a development element to the Fund.

The BFI will be working with industry stakeholders on fine-tuning, Our reaction to the plan is broadly supportive but with concerns about over-emphasis on newcomers producing content. We are calling for a broad mix, from the challenging and innovative to tried and trusted genres such as drama and comedy - to ensure a wide reach.

July

Ofcom reveal the findings of their Children's Media Review and their plan to persuade ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 to commission more children's and youth content.

CMF made a statement welcoming Ofcom's analysis of the issues and their desired outcomes, but disappointed at the failure to regulate.

 

Previous campaign activity >>

The Children's Media Foundation is at the forefront of fighting for the best in children's content and ensuring that it is fully diverse and representative. The children of today will shape our world and I'm pleased that the CMF is helping to give them the widest possible range of opportunities to do so.
Sir Lenny Henry C.B.E.