The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Update on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children’s Media and The Arts

 

By Jayne Kirkham, CMF Board Member and Political Liaison


 

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children’s Media and The Arts held its Annual General Meeting on 1st March 2021. This was a short event to elect officers and plan for the year ahead. Julie Elliott MP and Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham were re-elected as co-chairs with Andrew Rosindell MP and Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall re-elected as officers.

All party parliamentary groups (APPGs), are regulated by the House of Commons. Their purpose is to keep interested members of both houses informed and up to date on specific areas of interest. The unfolding of Covid-19 during 2020 meant that the group’s planned events were cancelled. Nevertheless, parliamentarians were kept up to date on a wide range of topics covering children’s theatre, museums, and screen-based media, either through specially commissioned papers or a newsletter that I edit on behalf of the Children’s Media Foundation, who act as secretariat to the group.

Children’s arts and media issues are usually ignored by the main press. Good and bad stories don’t necessarily reach the ears of those that can effect change. In the past, the APPG has been able to amplify the voice of campaigns, such as tax incentives for children’s animation and television, the Cultural Backpack UK, and has led to amendments to bills such as the Children and Families Bill and the Digital Economy Bill as well as the inclusion of in-app purchasing in the Office of Fair Trading’s rules on children’s online games. We have also raised awareness of the importance of music in education, how easy it is for a child to access online pornography, and how Channel 4 was failing to serve its audience of older children.  In 2018 the Young Audiences Content Fund also met the APPG to discuss its criteria and aspirations.

It is now 10 years since I established the group with Baroness Benjamin at the helm. Plans to celebrate the anniversary are somewhat dependent on the development of the Coronavirus pandemic. But we have plenty to celebrate so let's hope we can mark the anniversary in style!

Policy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)