What shape will children’s media take in the digital era?

The CBA held a special workshop, Children’s Media at the Core of Public Service Media in a Multiplatform Era, at the World Summit on Media for Children in Malaysia. The event was open to all broadcasters and was facilitated by Jeanette Steemers and Naomi Sakr, media professors with extensive expertise in children’s PSB.

The explosive growth in the use of social media, smartphones, games consoles and tablets is transforming children’s lives both at school and at home. There are signs that even babies and toddlers are going straight online or onto devices as their first engagement with media.

Television is fast losing its long-established status as the main form of entertainment for children. The digital revolution has required programme-makers to reinvent children’s media in a rapidly changing market. Where content creation used to be centred on a TV show and some merchandise, it now spins off into games, on-demand video, apps and social media platforms – and vice versa.

This multiplatform revolution presents both opportunities and challenges for broadcasters. How can they create content that works across many platforms, and compete with the commercialised gaming space? And is the regulation of children’s media keeping up with the multiplatform reality?

Naomi Sakr and Jeanette Steemers facilitated the discussion in the one-day event with case studies, demonstrations and presentation. The workshop was a pre-conference event, held in Kuala Lumpur.

Previously held in Australia, the UK, South Africa, Greece, Brazil and Sweden, the summit was hosted in Asia for the first time. The event was organised by the ABU and the WSMC Foundation, and hosted by Radio Television Malaysia.

About the facilitators

Jeanette Steemers is a Professor of Media and Communications at the University of Westminster, UK. She was co-editor of Regaining the Initiative for Public Service Media (2012, with G Lowe), and author of Creating Preschool Television (2010) and Selling Television (2004). She has written numerous articles about the children’s TV industry and her doctorate was on Public Service Broadcasting . Jeanette’s industry experience includes working for international television distributor and children’s producer Hit Entertainment (Bob the Builder, Thomas and Friends)

Naomi Sakr is Professor of Media Policy, also at the University of Westminster. She is an Arab media expert, and is currently leading a team researching pan-Arab children’s TV, funded by the UK’s Arts & Humanities Research Council. Her own focus within this project is on the political economy of children’s TV in these countries, including changes in public policy on broadcasting and the internet. This follows her involvement in a Panos Institute project (2009-12) entitled “Reinforcing the Public Service Mission of National Broadcasters in Eight Countries in the Middle East and North Africa”.

See the conference website for more information

[Image: from the summit’s official theme song, “We All Will”]

This entry was posted in Latest.