The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Children’s Screen Content in an Era of Forced Migration: Facilitating Arab-European Dialogue


4 December 2017
10.00-16.00 including lunch 
BBC Media City, Salford Quays

Workshop Coordinators: 
Professor Jeanette Steemers (King’s College London) 
Professor Naomi Sakr (University of Westminster)

This pre-summit workshop will take place on 4 December prior to the Children’s Global Media Summit 2017 at BBC Media City, Manchester, UK

European broadcasters, policy-makers, children’s advocacy groups and content producers face new opportunities and challenges in the wake of recent unprecedented migration flows to Europe, including the arrival of thousands of Arabic-speaking families and children.

This free workshop aims to help European stakeholders better understand the information and entertainment needs of Arabic-speaking children, many of whom are struggling to make sense of the troubling and often chaotic environment they have witnessed.

Drawing on three years’ research in Arabic-speaking countries, funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the workshop aims to facilitate discussion between those in Europe who regulate, commission, fund, produce or comment on children’s content and Arab expert practitioners with experience of children’s media.

Topics to be addressed in the workshop sessions will include:

  • How is childhood defined and understood in the Arab world and how have Arab children’s entertainment and information needs been articulated by industry and policy-makers?
  • What do Arab children know about the world from the screen content available to them? Where are the gaps?
  • What are the shared information and entertainment needs, wants and experiences of young Arabic-speaking migrant children and European-born children who have watched them arrive? How can this knowledge be used to reach out to children and reflect diversity?
  • Why are children’s voices and media rights fundamental to children’s future participation as citizens in new environments?
  • What type of practical screen content policy and production recommendations are best for promoting social engagement among children and families who may be experiencing homesickness and disorientation?

The workshop will consist of 4 sessions involving a mix of whole group and break-out activities, intended to be relevant, informative and thought-provoking for anyone with an interest in children’s media, diversity and migrant issues.

All participants will receive copies of workshop reports, a Stakeholder Resource Book, access to the project website, and an invitation to attend a final project Symposium in London in September 2018.  For more information or to register, please contact Professor Jeanette Steemers. (

This project is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)