The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Question Time at CMC 2020

By Nikki Stearman

Senior Games Designer, Dubit and

CMF Executive Group Member for Events

I was honoured to produce the Children’s Media Conference Question Time this year with the support of Executive Producer Anna Home, Chair of the Children's Media Foundation,

‘Right Now and What’s Next?’ explored the strategic questions around kids and content and  the possible futures facing the children media industry. This year more than ever, I was a tricky session to get right - with issues emerging the nearer we got to the event, especially those associated with the Covid crisis and how that would in the long run affect children and young people.

To inform the session in advance, we asked members of the industry what they felt was most concerning them at this time. We had a great response to our call out. Unsurprisingly the impact of Corona virus on children, content and the future of the industry (including the role of Public Service Broadcasting) was pertinent. This also led to concerns about children’s wellbeing in the short and long term, together with the delay in the Online Harms Bill - are we doing enough to protect our children? And finally a call to arms around young people’s activism; how can we take children’s campaigns and concerns seriously?

As with the other live sessions in the conference this year, we had the added challenge of a virtual platform rather than the usual Showroom venue in Sheffield.

However, I feel there were real benefits to the session being virtual. First, it improved accessibility.  It enabled our excellent panellists Tracy Brabin MP, Ollie Bray from the LEGO Foundation, Writer and Producer Russell T. Davies, Baroness Beeban Kidron, Founder and Chair of 5Rights Foundation, and Charles Lauder, CEO of Indie Club to participate easily from all corners of the UK, and in Ollie’s case, from abroad. It enabled Newsround Presenter Leah Boleto, our moderator to participate whilst on maternity leave - something I am very grateful for!

I also felt it improved the potential for debate - enabling attendees at the session to ask their questions when they thought of them using the chat functionality to put to the panel. It meant we had more questions than we could ask, but also that more people were asking them - always a positive thing and something we should do more of in the future.

If you didn’t get a chance to attend the session, please do read the excellent blog summary here and a full recording of the session will be available on the CMC YouTube Channel in September.

Further reading:

Events Industry

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The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)