Defining Value in Children’s Media: Building a Case for Domestically-Produced Children’s Television Content

TitleDefining Value in Children’s Media: Building a Case for Domestically-Produced Children’s Television Content
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Steemers, J.
Affiliation (1st Author)University of Westminster
Section or WGAudience Section
DateFri 28 June
Slot CodeAUDF3a
Slot Code (Keyword)AUDF3a
Time of Session14:00-15:30
RoomHG20
Session TitleRe-defining children’s and young people’s media: Pan-Arab and European perspectives on policy, production and cultures of reception
Submission ID5414
Abstract

Part of Panel:   Re-defining children’s and young people’s media: Pan-Arab and European perspectives on policy, production and cultures of reception Professor Jeanette Steemers, CAMRI, University of Westminster  This paper discusses ongoing findings from research, which considers how we might assess the value of children’s screen media and begin to identify its role in identity formation as well as its broader cultural, socio-political and educational impact.  It suggests that to better understand evolving cultures of reception and appropriation by children, we also need to understand better the changing political economy of children’s screen-based media and changes in perceived purposes. UK experience forms the core of this analysis, but experiences in other European countries and North America are also highlighted.  Drawing on qualitative analysis of policy, regulatory practice, industry positioning and public debate, the paper considers the perceived value of children’s content through the lens of public value, current perceptions of market failure and crisis in children’s broadcasting, shifts in media consumption to online and mobile platforms, as well as regulatory interventions to maintain levels of domestic content.  Public service interventions designed to promote domestically-produced audiovisual content on traditional broadcasting platforms often reflect concerns about the culture and identity of children. They make certain assumptions about the media use and preferences of children and young people. This approach is echoed in regulation that assumes that children and young people are a ‘special’ audience with ‘distinctive characteristics and needs’ (Buckingham 2005: 468), and that regulation needs to promote certain types of quality content while discouraging potentially harmful content such as advertising or violence. Other regulatory interventions to promote production often address industry concerns about the financial sustainability of the industry (revealed in discussions about intellectual property rights and tax breaks rather than a focus on children’s needs). This paper addresses issues connected with the political economy of production, and the purposes of children’s media as negotiated by policy-makers, producers and advocates, that connect with issues of consumption. Within an increasingly commercialised, globalised and digitised media environment, this paper considers not only how domestic content is defined within a globalised, digitised and convergent media landscape, but also how it is evaluated in cultural, social, educational and economic terms.  What is meant by local content, what types of value can it deliver, and how should researchers measure and explain this? Examples are taken from UK experience as well as experiences in other European countries, focusing on ideas of inclusion, information, genre diversity, participation and shifts in consumption from broadcast to multiplatform and online activities that occupy increasing proportions of children’s time.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer