Between 2015 and 2018 the Ragdoll Foundation supported Save Kids’ Content UK, a campaign to revive British children’s programming, and to ensure a diverse and healthy mix of UK-made children’s content on new digital platforms.
The campaign was a collaboration between The Ragdoll Foundation and PACT, who initially worked together to develop and communicate the case for greater investment by the UK Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs) in children’s TV programming. A report sent to OFCOM set out how the current PSB system is failing children and how investment, spend and hours of original content across the PSB channels including BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 had plummeted over the last ten years. This report launched the Save Kids’ Content UK campaign.
Working with parliamentarians, industry representatives, academics, TV personalities and others, the Campaign highlighted the importance of high quality programming that entertains, educates and informs, and reflects the wide variety of experiences of children across the UK.
In March 2017 the Campaign to Save Kids’ Content made an exciting leap forward, as the Government supported a new piece of legislation in the Digital Economy Bill, which gave Ofcom the power to impose criteria around the provision of children’s programmes on Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs). This meant that children’s content would in effect be restored from Tier 3 to Tier 2 programming, as compliance with Ofcom’s criteria, and would once again be a condition of licence. The new regulation required broadcasters negotiate an appropriate settlement for children with Ofcom.
The formal campaign concluded with a reception at the Palace of Westminster in July 2017, hosted by former Playschool presenter Baroness Floella Benjamin, who had supported the legislation in the Lords. Speakers included actor John McVay, Anne Wood CBE, Julie Elliott MP, radio DJ Pat Sharp, actress Annette Badland, and former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis MBE.
The reception provided an opportunity to discuss how these new powers might be used by Ofcom going forward.
The Campaign was supported through our Advocacy strand: initiatives that support the voices and rights of children and young people. This strand is not open to application.