The Party Conferences and the APPG

The Party Conferences and the APPG

None of us are professional lobbyists and it’s been ‘interesting’ learning how to navigate around Westminster and the various broadcasting Powers That Be:

“Children’s TV, ah you want Culture Media and Sport” …

…“Oh, Children’s TV: that would be Children, Schools and Families”…

“Oh that would be Education.” …

Is children’s media just a Media Industry Thing? Or an Education Thing?  Or a Biz Thing?  Moshi Monsters has a strong public service ethos at its heart but is raking in huge sums.  As the most powerful communication tool we have, what about children’s media being an Equality Thing?  When she was Minister for Equality, Harriet Harmon, talked about reaching disenfranchised young people.  Even the most disenfranchised have a telly.

Save Kids’ TV & Children’s Media Foundation Survey

Following last week’s newsletter in which we outlined the plan to merge Save Kids’ TV with the new Children’s Media Foundation, we’d now very much appreciate supporters taking ten minutes to complete a questionnaire on what the new organisation will offer and how it should be funded.

You can access the survey by following this link. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/childrensmediafoundation

For full information on the merger plans you can read last week’s newsletter articles here.

Campaigns and Consultations

The campaigning continues in various forms.

Animation

Save Kids’ TV is supporting The UK Animation Campaign which has seen significant progress in the last few weeks, with the launch of a specially-commissioned report on the state of the animation industry and the pressure from foreign competitors – many of whom have various forms of state assistance.  Campaigning for tax incentives, Oli Hyatt and the team at UK Animation have been arguing the case with MPs including Nick Clegg and Vince Cable and have had major coverage in the press.  Up-to-date information is available on the UK Animation

The Voice of the Listener and Viewer Conference

The annual VLV children’s conference was held on 7th November and was very well attended. Peter Duncan in his role as Chief Scout opened the conference with a plea to take the future of kid’s media and culture seriously. The conference was dominated by issues raised in Richard Deverell’s statement concerning the future of BBC children’s programmes and the impending cuts.

PACT and Save Kids’ TV were invited to outline their plans for solutions to the crisis, and media commentator Ray Snoddy responded from an independent perspective. He was concerned that tax incentives might be difficult to get past the Treasury in times of belt-tightening, but was more sanguine about the possibilities for Lottery and other forms

Parliamentary Debate

An Adjournment Debate initiated by the Performers’ Alliance Parliamentary Group supported by PACT was held in Westminster Hall on 4th December. It was opened by Labour MP Neil Gerrard and all parties were represented. The debate ranged over all the Ofcom options and though there were differences in interpretation between the parties there was consensus that action needed to be taken to protect children’s programming in the UK.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Culture Media and Sport, Gerry Sutcliffe, responded to the debate. He agreed there were issues to be taken forward: “When respected industry figures such as Anna Home and Floella Benjamin and others speak we have to listen and take the issue seriously”. However he did

Westminster Media Forum / Ofcom Debate

This was held on 6th December and was intended for Ofcom to gather views in the consultation process. Speakers addressed the status quo and looked to the future. Responses to the Ofcom options were made by Five; Pact and SKTV. Anthony Lilley, Chief Executive of Magic Lantern Productions (and the co-author of the Ofcom report on the new- media PSP proposal for public service interactive content) made a strong plea that any new service be future-focused, which Anna Home for SKTV was able to reassure him our proposals were.

Ofcom stressed the need for the BBC to maintain its commitments and the possibility of tighter guarantees in terms of hours, and Anne Gilchrist CBBC creative director spoke strongly against