The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

The Future of Kids’ Content in the UK

The Campaign heats up as BBC and Government take positions…

Since the publication of the Government's Green Paper, 'BBC Charter Review' in July there has been a flurry of public consultation around this subject - and some responses from key participants such as the BBC Executive and BBC Trust.

There are links to the various CMF responses on our Action page. They include submissions to the BBC Trust, the DCMS, The House of Lords Select Committee on Communications and the House of Commons Select Committee on Culture Media and Sport.

 Our aim is to represent the needs of the audience and link that to long-term sustainability of the children’s content industry which serves them.

Our main points:

  • No further cuts in the BBC Licence Fee (necessary for the future of Children's BBC)
  • Support for the BBC's plans to develop iPlay as a new service for children and young people but with a need to maintain content funding for current services
  • An additional call to the BBC to commit to an annual increase in funding for children's and youth content over the next 10 years, through the mechanism of Service Licences.
  • Serious consideration by Government of a new content production fund to encourage the commercial PSBs, the cable and satellite channels and other new players, to commission original UK-facing kid's content.
  • Research to be conducted into sources for such funding, excluding the BBC Licence Fee.

We are calling on all interested parties to support these policies. You can sign up on our homepage.

Our activity:

  • We have pursued these arguments with Secretary of State, John Whittingdale and will be meeting the BBC Trust in the next few weeks.
  • CMF Chair Anna Home met BBC Director General Tony Hall in October and has since exchanged correspondence about our concern that iPlay needs funding to pay for additional content, not just the digital infrastructure, and it needs to be a long-term commitment.
  • We are currently drafting a series of questions for Baroness Benjamin to raise in the House of Lords.
  • We’ll also meet the Children's Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield and the Shadow Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Michael Dugher MP.
  • We are working with campaign partners Pact, the VLV and Directors UK to host industry round-tables to bring some of the key stakeholders together to consider contestable funding and commitments and funding at the BBC.

The government White Paper setting out their plans for the BBC, is due to be published in March - followed by another period of consultation.

We will continue to make the arguments at every possible opportunity over the next few months, but we are under no illusions about the threats which exist to the independence of the BBC and its general funding base - none of which is good for the children's audience. (See Professor Jeanette Steemers analysis below).

Please do your part by contacting your MP and by putting the arguments to them as outlined on our homepage - and please sign up in support - every name and every organisation will add more weight to the campaign.

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The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)