Kids Future: UK Government Should Provide Additional Funding for Children’s Content
At this week’s Children’s Media Conference, the CMF (Children’s Media Foundation) presented a free digital download version of their 161-page comprehensive report to all attendees titled Our Children’s Future: Does Public Service Media Matter? The nonprofit organization’s lobbying effort posits that there should be an increased government funding push for children’s content.
A group of industry executives has banded together to call on the UK government to support additional funding for children’s content. The contributors to the funding initiative include Wincie Knight (ViacomCBS Networks International’s VP of global inclusion strategy), Patricia Hildago (director of children’s programming and education at BBC), as well as CEO of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Jerry Buckland.
The argument at the core of the report, which had been recently the subject of debate at a children’s education and entertainment event, is that the pandemic has truly underscored the importance of additional funding for public broadcasters by the government. It argues that in terms of educational and entertainment content, children are being vastly underserved by the current landscape of public service media. This is especially vital at a time when their development through education has been set back due to the events of the global pandemic.
The report advocates for the government to set up new avenues by which producers can create more educational content for children. It also promotes the idea that innovative and creative approaches, such as news programming specifically for kid-friendly consumption, should also be financially supported and sponsored by these funding efforts. The report specifically cites that a study done by First News has found that 53% of children want to learn more about what is happening around the world and to find out more about other countries.
With its goal to ensure that producers and distributors have adequate funding for these ventures, the CMF is planning to present its report to Ofcom, a UK media watchdog. The effort is geared to ensure that broadcasters can put forth children’s content that is reflective of all British children.