Sunday, 29 July 2007

Children's television

Things are not so good for children's television in the UK. Changes in advertising and funding streams means that some commercial broadcasters, such as ITV, are stopping the commissioning of new programmes for children. I talked about the role of television in young children's lives (drawing from the 'Digital Beginnings' study) at an event on this issue last week - for a report on the event, link here. Unsurprisingly, the study indicated that television features largely in young children's daily lives. If they end up having to rely totally on imported programmes and repeats of old UK-produced material, what are the consequences? I am not suggesting imported programmes aren't valuable - what would we do without The Simpsons, for example - but children need a wide range of programmes, including programmes that reflect something of their own cultural lives and social concerns. Keep up-to-date with what is happening in this area at the 'Save Kids' TV' website.

5 comments:

guy said...

Reading your last two posts I wonder if TV is on its last legs, and is about to give way to more interactive-participative entertainment. As virtual worlds and gaming continue to gain market share, will the next generation switch off from TV entirely, preferring environments which they can enter, explore, change and chat in? Or will we see the rise of more convergent home entertainment genres that somehow 'mix' TV with newer media?

Jackie Marsh said...

Hi Guy, yes, older children are moving away from television but I do think it will remain popular with younger children. So I think the convergence of TV with other forms of media will happen, indeed is already happening, but that the industry still needs to make high-quality programmes for children. With downloading on demand on the increase, children are going to want to be able to download 'The Tweenies' or their equivalent fave TV programme, don't you think?

guy said...

I was thinking how new media trends tend to work down through the age ranges, and so wondered if younger children would start to turn off TV in favour of more blended entertainment. Anyway, which ever way it goes right now we need better TV, a better selection of downloads and some more imaginative (or sensitive) virtual world designs.

Anonymous said...

yes, I totally agree. I don't think the level of interactivity of media for younger children would tempt them away from tv as yet, although I guess designers will get better at that - maybe?
Jackie

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