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‘Chariots of Fire’ Producer Lord David Puttnam Calls for Digital Media Literacy in Children’s Media Foundation Report on Future of Kids TV

david puttnam
Courtesy of david puttnam

“Chariots of Fire” producer Lord David Puttnam has called for kids to be educated in digital media literacy as part of the Children’s Media Foundation’s (CMF) new report on the future of children’s television.

“Lockdowns and school closures associated with the onslaught of COVID-19 have also meant that we are more worried than ever about the amount of time our young people are spending on digital screens: What are they watching? Who is acting as a gatekeeper?” he wrote in the report.

“How well do any of us understand the digital infrastructure in which so much of their time is spent? And, how can young minds learn to recognize the difference between what’s true, what’s designed to be addictive or, worst of all, something designed to manipulate them?”

Among others who contributed to the report are Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” author Michael Rosen and politician Ed Vaizey.

CMF produced the report, which the org plans to present to Ofcom, to encourage the government to protect U.K.-originated content for children amid the current debate about public service media.

“It’s important we don’t forget what it is we require from the new PSM [personalized streaming media] framework,” said Anna Home, CMF’s chair. “And that is diverse storytelling for our children, across the full range of genres, which reflects their lives and their culture and is made available on a range of platforms, so that all children can access that content.”

“We are committed to persuading the government to put the needs of the children’s audience at the centre of their new PSM framework. We want to see a thriving children’s media production sector in the UK with the capacity to deliver a wide range of high-quality, UK-centric media experiences.”

The full report can be read online here.