The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

CMC 2021: The Question Time Session

 

By Jayne Kirkham, CMF Executive Group Member for political and governmental liaison

 


On Tuesday 6th July, 11-12noon, CMC will be staging its Question Time session.  There's a long tradition of the Children's Media Foundation producing the content for this.

I'm one of those people that 'don't do politics'. I couldn't tell you what the deputy chancellor of Stuff said about the vice-president of Doings; the only parties I like are ones with cider and sausages. But I do care about the way we live and I do care about children and the chances we give them, especially through their media. So while I don't 'do politics', I do use the political process to bring about change for the better. So, on behalf of the Children's Media Foundation, I am delighted to be producing the CMC Question Time again.

As ever, this is our chance to ask the big questions of the big players: the decision makers and those in the know about the decisions being made. And it is turning into quite a year for decisions. The Government's Online Safety Bill will soon begin its journey into law- we need to decide if it is fit for purpose and if not make it so. Then, following Ofcom's Small Screen: Big Debate inquiry, there will be decisions about the future of public service broadcasting and decisions about the BBC - 2022 brings the mid-term examination of the Television Licence Fee;  2022 would also be the first year of a fully fledged Young Audiences Content Fund, if DCMS decide the pilot has been successful and if they can decide how to fund it.

With the previous year reducing so many of our decisions to a simple 'shall I leave the house or not?',  perhaps the decisions we are facing are more immediate: do I stay in business? Along with 'Hands, Face Space' and other three word mantras, we've all heard 'Build Back Better'; can we? What does 'better' look like in Children's Media? What decisions need to be made to make that a reality for our businesses and, more importantly, our audience?

Before any of those decisions can be made, we need information - answers from the people that know. That's why CMC's Question Time is so important. It opens up the Conference as the first panel - this year on Tuesday 6 July. Panellists invited include the Secretary of State Oliver Dowden MP, chair of the APPG for Children's Media and the Arts Julie Elliott MP, writer Sir Phil Redmond, former Children's Commissioner Anne Longfield and Vice President, Government Relations at ViacomCBS Mitchell Simmons, all ably moderated by former Newsround anchor Leah Boleto.

Questions Needed

When you think about Children’s Media are there particular questions that occur? I mean questions beyond ‘Where will I get my next commission?’ and ‘What am I doing here?’ and ‘How about lunch?’ Those questions are important but just how you answer them may well depend on the decisions of others way outside your usual sphere of influence: politicians and policy makers. If you could, what would you ask them?

Please email your questions to: jaynekirkham@thechildrensmediafoundation.org by Tuesday, June 29th.

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The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)