The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

CMF @ CMC – Question Time

The Children's Media Foundation sponsored, and CMF Board and Exec member Jayne Kirkham produced, the session which opened the Children's Media Conference in Sheffield on 6th July.

Using Parliamentary and industry connections, Jayne created a Question Time panel hosted by Professor Steve Barnett, which tackled all the big issues facing the kids' media industry and policy-makers – including the future of children's content at the BBC, the contestable fund, the responsibilities of online platform and inclusion and fair representation, with a special added focus on the implications of the Brexit vote for the kids' media sector.
450 people attended the session, which was relayed to the adjacent cinema as demand was so high. Once again the CMF opened the industry's annual gathering with a high level discussion of the issues that matter to media makers, and ultimately to the audiences they serve, fulfilling our remit of "enhancing and extending the public discourse around children and the media they use".

The "Question Time" panellists were Lord Alli, Labour Peer and Silvergate Media CEO, Marc Goodchild, Founder of Gingersnap and CMF Executive member, David Johnson, CEO Compact Media Group, Cat Lewis CEO Nine Lives Media and Pact Council member,Andy Taylor, CEO Little Dot Productions and Alice Webb, Director of BBC North and Children's.

Opinions varied but the issues were certainly examined in detail, setting the conference off to an informed and thoughtful start. The concerns over Brexit were clear from the many questions received. Lord Alli set the tone, despite his own misgivings about the Brexit decision, with this thought: “We’ve had to deal with the complexity of lack of funding as producers. We’ve become good at complex co-production deals – as a sector we have those skills, we just need to go to different markets, do more things we don’t like doing to keep doing what we do. I think what we have to do very quickly as a sector is dust off and move on.”

A blog offering more detail on the session is available on the CMC website. The event was shot on video and a full version of the session will be available soon.

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