The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

CMF – the year ahead

It’s been a busy year, and we have no intention of resting on our laurels in 2015!

Anna Home, CMF Chair, explains just some of our plans for the coming year...

2014 ended with two very significant events for the future of children’s media: the announcement of tax breaks for live-action programmes in The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and the publication of Ofcom’s most recent (2014) Public Service Report and the launch of their consultation on Public Service Content in a Connected Society.

Both these will figure in CMF’s activities in 2015. But the year will be dominated by the outcome of the election in May and what consequences that may have on the future of broadcasting in general and kids’ content in particular.

The election will signal the start of the public consultation on the future of the BBC - to be decided in 2016. The CMF will take an active part in this. The role of the BBC as virtually the only real provider of original content for children in the UK is crucial and must be protected.

CMF has long argued for live-action tax breaks and we are delighted that they have been achieved (subject to various European approvals). But we’ll be keeping a sharp eye on their impact and how they benefit both the UK audience and the industry.

The Children’s Summary to the Ofcom report at first sight raises some very worrying issues, highlighting declines in first run original content on all channels, including CBeebies and CBBC, less viewing by older children, and an ongoing decline in PSB plurality.

We will be responding to this report in the public consultation, which is open now, and we will continue to argue for more PSB content from ITV, and Channels 4 and 5.

We are still concerned about film for children and the apparent lack of positive action by the BFI to stimulate it. We’ll continue to pursue this in 2015.

Other issues will emerge during the year and we will aim to respond as actively as we can.

We plan to rethink our web site to make our services more accessible. We want to engage more with parents, carers and teachers and encourage debate and the exchange of ideas. And in everything we do, we need to consider the growing complexity of content provision and how future developments in media can be used to best benefit the audience we represent.

To achieve this we need your continued support, which we really value.  But we also need many more supporters. Please encourage friends and colleagues to join CMF in 2015.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

Anna Home, Chair CMF

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The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)