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30/10/2000

CONFERENCE TO TACKLE CHILDREN’S TV

JANET Anderson, the Under Secretary of State for Film and Broadcasting, is to deliver the keynote speech at Voice of the Listener and Viewer’s sixth annual conference on children and television to be held in London.
The conference entitled ‘Children and Television: A Public Service Or A Licence To Exploit?’ will consider the future for children’s radio and television in the digital age.
Jocelyn Hay, VLV Chairman, said: “We are delighted that the Minister for Film and Broadcasting, Janet Anderson, has agreed to give the key note address at the conference and to outline government policy in this area. The UK is already the most comprehensive market in the world for children’s television. More than a dozen channels target young viewers but soon there will be twenty, only five of which will bear any positive public service obligations in regard to the quality, diversity or source of the programmes they broadcast. The satellite and cable channels broadcast mainly American cartoons and soaps and the effect on the depth of the general knowledge, language and values of the children who watch them can be catastrophic.”
Hay highlighted an example were a member of Parliament found that children in a school which she visited could quote the American emergency number but did not know what number to ring if there was an emergency in their own home.
Among the issues to be considered at the conference are the current crisis in funding and commissioning original programmes for children. Also the future of public service broadcasting for children and how the quality of programmes for young audiences can be maintained in the multi-channel age.
The conference will examine the impact of new media, including the Internet and interactive television, on existing services and young audiences and the opportunities they can bring for young people.
Supported by Broadcasting Standards Commission and the British Board of Film the conference takes place on November 1 at the Methodist International Conference Centre, London from 9.30am to 5pm.
Tickets are £70 each, Students £15. For further information contact Linda Forbes on Tel: 01474 352835.
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