The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Coming Soon To A Digital Device Near You… The CMF’s Public Service Media Report.


Colin Ward, CMF's Deputy Director and Editor of the Report: Our Children's Future - Does Children's Media Matter on launch plans.

At the end of 2020, the CMF began a major campaign to highlight the failure of government to protect the production, at scale, of UK-originated, culturally-relevant content for our children. The aim of the campaign is to get Ofcom and the government to acknowledge the unique position of the children’s audience in the coming debate on the future framework for public service media. 

The heart of our campaign is a 161-page report featuring articles from a wide range of award-winning writers, senior executives, researchers, politicians and academics. That report is now complete and will be formally launched as a free digital download for all delegates at the Children’s Media Conference. It will also be distributed to all the members of the Children's Media And the Arts All Party Parliamentary Group - and of course to ministers, civil servants and regulators. You can read many of the articles right now on the CMF website and from the 8th of July there'll be a link to download the complete report free of charge.

The range and breadth of those articles is astonishing; everything from Patricia Hidalgo and Jackie Edwards talking about their ambitions for their respective organisations, to leading health academics talking about the role of PSM in promoting healthy lifestyles for children. We have Lord Puttnam discussing how to encourage our future digital citizens and David Kleeman examining the developing role of the Metaverse in children’s media experiences.

There are articles from leading writers and producers, such as Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Anne Wood, who remind us of the extraordinary achievements of the public service media framework that dominated children’s media in the UK for so long. But they are not backward looking articles; they highlight the strengths of the traditional PSB system so that we do not forget precisely what it is we require from the new PSM framework. And that is; diverse storytelling for our children, across the full range of genres, which reflects their lives and their culture and is made available on a range of platforms, so that all children can access that content.  At the very least, we need the new public service media framework to restore the production of high-quality, UK-originated media content to pre-2006 levels.

And the launch of the CMF report is not the end of the campaign. We are planning a series of virtual events - starting with a debate at the Children's Media Conference and continuing in the autumn - that will bring together our writers to discuss the key issues raised. We want to give everyone an opportunity to respond to the report to carry the debate forward and we also intend to involve policymakers in those discussions.

We respect the past and we know we can learn from what we have achieved. But the focus of the CMF’s campaign is the future of children’s media experiences. We are committed to persuading the government to put the needs of the children’s audience at the centre of their new PSM framework. We want to see a thriving children’s media production sector in the UK with the capacity to deliver an exciting range of high-quality, UK-centric media experiences.

If that is important to you then please take a look at the articles in the report and find something that resonates with your experiences of working for, and with, children. And then spread the word. If enough of us talk about these issues then eventually the government will be forced to listen.

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The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)