I received an email recently about ITV backing out of children’s TV:
“You may have heard already that because of proposals to limit the advertising of high salt, sugar and fat content foods on TV, ITV are likely to pull out of making children’s programmes all together. You may think that’s a good thing but bear in mind that while they will still be broadcasting children’s programmes, these programmes will most likely be imports.
If this ban goes ahead, my fear is that while our kids might eat one or two more apples, they will be fed a diet of US cartoons and sitcoms that have little bearing on their own cultural identity.
TV is always the whipping boy for our cultural and social ills and there is little proof that junk food advertising actually plays a significant part in creating our over fed and unfit children. Parenting and the Food Industry do that.
An alliance of Industry professionals (PACT, BECTU, WGGB, VLV, etc) have started a campaign - Action for UK Children’s Media (AUKCM) - to save children’s TV. If you’d like to find out more, check out the Action for UK Children's Media website, and register your support.”
And this is from AUKCM's newsletter:
"There are a number of important issues facing the children's media industry and the children's audience, some short term, others slightly further off. The aims of the Campaign are broadly to ensure that children in the UK continue to enjoy and benefit from well-funded quality media, produced in this country, which addresses their lives, interests, values and concerns.
In this we form part of a wider effort to preserve children's cultural entitlement in the UK, and we are in discussion with groups already campaigning in this field. Equally we ally with organisations such as the Writers' Guild, the VLV, PACT and BAFTA who have taken strong positions on the preservation of the UK production base for children's programmes.
Funding for children's programming is coming under increasing pressure, partly from changes in technology and consumer habits, and from the regulation against high fat, sugar and salt foods advertising to children expected later this year. These pressures lead to ITV's plans to close their children's production arm and to requesting Ofcom to allow them to decrease their regulated hours of public service
kids' TV on ITV1.
The Campaign will focus on these issues in the short term, but our approach will be pragmatic and realistic. The immediate issues are only part of the problem. The likely escalation of the effects of funding shortages and the failure of regulation need a long-term Campaign strategy to find new ways of protecting UK children's media."