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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Whose Space is it Anyway?

Below are some key quotes from the opening Showcomotion Session, "Whose Space is it Anyway," which played out as a game show between two teams made up of kids' media experts and teens.

On the impact of the funding shortages for children's media and attention from government, referring back to Ed Vaizey's address:

Adrian Mills (Myriad Learning) -- People won’t know what happened until its too late. At the moment, there is a plethora of channels and programs, but five years down the road the reservoir will dry up. However, as a political issue, trying to fight for attention from Members of Parliament, it will never compare to knife crime, the economy or health care.

Nigel Pickard (RDF Television), also referring back to Vaizey – A tax break is too easy, it won’t solve the problems if there aren’t enough broadcast platforms, no end user. On the other hand, it’ll be fantastic for animation and should have been there 15 years ago.

On the Byron review of safety and digital media –

Pickard - It was an eminently sensible piece of work that took 250 pages to state the obvious.

Mills – Whenever the government immediately says it will implement all recommendations in a report, you know there’s nothing very challenging. What it lacked that would have been useful was a rebuttal to the extreme views of people like Aric Sigman, who believe consuming media will result in an entire generation of children who are depressed and retarded.

Tanya Byron (psychologist and author of the Byron Review) – Industries have to take responsibility, but they also have to be supported to find the way forward. What should come next is a time of collaboration among government, industry, experts, kids.

On perceptions of most media as divorced from education --

Mills – Education and media have drifted apart because the concept of schools TV was never re-invented; we need to re-engage in the idea of media’s role in children’s learning, not based on a 1950’s model, and not disregarding the ongoing important role of TV.

At the end of the session, asked what kinds of TV they liked, the two teen girls on the panel mentioned Grange Hill and Byker Grove as shows they best related to; sadly, both have been discontinued.

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