The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Future Uncertain

Fiona ChestertonThe precarious future of children’s TV production in the UK is spelled out in ‘Who’s Looking after the Children?’, written by a former Controller of Adult Learning at the BBC, Fiona Chesterton. It's a chapter in the new book The BBC Today: Future Uncertain, edited by Mair, Richard Tait, and Lance Keeble, and published by Abramis

The BBC has announced a new online portal for Children’s content to be called iPlay – but the bigger question may be how to ensure that that content – especially the long-form video, or as many will still call them, the television programmes, can remain high-quality and properly funded.

Fiona makes the case that while the BBC will continue its commitment to children’s content, it is reliant on the health of the independent production sector, and that other broadcasters, notably Channel 4, should continue to have a responsibility, especially for older children. She also wants more focus on what she calls the ‘Tough Stuff’: educational content, news, current affairs and documentaries for young people, so that understand and explore the world in which they are growing up. There has been a burgeoning of educational content available online in the past few years, but much of it from Silicon Valley. Fiona regrets that the BBC may have lost its opportunity to take a leading role in education globally with the demise of the BBC Jam project but with education as with drama and entertainment, Fiona points out, the UK children’s audience  (and their parents) still want to see their own society and culture reflected in what they watch.

The book will be available from end of month at www.abramis.co.uk but is already on Amazon

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The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)