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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Proof You CAN Make Your Voice Heard

When I got a letter yesterday on House of Commons headed notepaper, my heart was in my mouth. Was this some kind of summons to go up to London to be put in the stocks?? And for what??? Cripes!

But no. It would seem my recent email imploring my local MP, Tobias Ellwood to save UK Kids' TV actually got through and has been noted:

Dear Lucy,

Thank you for your email dated 11th April about public service broadcasting for children.

I understand your concern about the lack of high quality, UK-produced children's content on television. British-made children's programmes have widely been acknowledged as amongst the best in the world for quality and variety, and I am aware that many people are worried that this success is now under threat. I believe that home-grown children's programming can be extremely beneficial in both edication and informing young children about British culture and society.

I share your concern that several of the leading broadcasters are now reducing their budget for children's content. If commercial channels such as ITV decide that it is financially unviable to keep original children's programming, I am concerned that children will be forced to watch cheaper imports and repeats.

My colleagues at the Shadow Culture, Media and Sport team are currently looking at this issue as part of a wider examination of the challenges facing public service broadcasting. As you are aware, Jeremy Hunt, the Shadow Culture Secretary, recently published a discussion paper on the future of Public Service Broadcasting, stressubg the need for broadcasters to take their social responsibility seriously and recognise the impact their programmes can have.

One key area of discussion was how to maintain the plurality of public service broadcasting and ensure that high quality programmes that appeal to all ages continue to be made. My colleagues put forward a number of options for consideration which included allowing organisations to bid for a small percentage of the licence fee to provide content in specific areas where plurality of provision is lacking, such as children's daytime television. We believe that this may be a sensible way forward of ensuring that young people are able to watch home-made, high quality, original programming. The independent media regulator Ofcom published similar proposals shortly afterwards and are now currently consulting on these proposals. When the results are published this autumn and we examine the results I will give all issues due consideration and will consider signing EDM 585.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write to me.

Kind regards,

Tobias Ellwood.

So, some good news there: this important issue does actually appear to be taken seriously, at least by one MP anyway. And maybe he sends the same letter out to everyone - but he's ssending out letters and showing us he's listening, that's the main thing. Besides, which, my MP is not necessarily your MP, so make sure YOURS is listening too!

So add YOUR voice to this campaign, you can do so by the mere click of a button:

HERE.

The more voices there are behind this campaign, the more likely it is children's programming will come home to roost and the less likely our kids will start talking like the cast of Friends. Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against Americans, but we're British. Let's recognise that.

8 comments:

Charlatans Woes said...

Well done you.

If enough people get behind this and push their mp's then it would be more than possible to get somthing going.

I must say its refreshing to see someone do this the sensible way. Nowadays people just seem to dress up like superman or throw dye at their mp's!

I would love to add my voice but sadly I will not be a british citizen much longer :)

Lucy said...

Thanks but there's no getting out of it CW by bloody emigrating! even ex-patriots are entitled to have a say in this... And presumbly you have British relatives who are kids or will have kids and even if you don't, PHILOSOPHICALLY SPEAKING this is important to the nation that BIRTHED YOU!

So push the button and send an email. OR ELSE.

I thank you.

evil twinz said...

Better do what she says, Charlatan... Or run, for the love of God RUN LIKE THE WIND

; )

Paul Campbell said...

Lucy

You e-mailed me. I know you did, because I saw you sitting, inexplicably, in my Spam folder.

I clicked that you weren't spam, and your e-mail vanished off the face of the earth.

So, I'm not ignoring you, but you'll have to try again.

And I've lost your e-mail address, hence a note on an unrelated Blog entry.

Sorry!

Paul

Far Away said...

well done Lucy.

Please pop over and fill out my scriptwriter blog survey (I know you'll love it) - only 10 questions and takes less than a minute. Ta

Elinor said...

I agree. I'm always hassling my MP about something and she always gets back to me.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Hell yes! I was just writing about this deplorable state of affairs recently:

http://stevyncolgan.blogspot.com/2008/04/smart-shows-for-smart-kids.html

Is it me? Or do we need the Tweedies more than we need the Tweenines?

Rach said...

Just heard from my MP. He's signed it!!!