2011 seems to be a year of change and challenge: a time of cuts and austerity but also hopefully of opportunity. The media landscape has literally transformed as BBC Children’s finally exchanges the East Tower for a new beginning in Salford. The public realm is also changing. Preliminary work will begin on a new Communications Bill, which will not reach the statute book until 2014. Media governance is likely to be increasingly deregulatory, making it important that the special case for supporting kids’ content continues to be made. A consultation into the future of film funding – hopefully including films for children – has been launched. The Bailey enquiry into the commercialisation and sexualisation of children through media reports in May.
In the middle of all this upheaval, content still needs to be created and businesses run. New solutions have to be found and new alliances forged. That is why we have made this year’s theme ‘Thinking Differently’.
The many wide ranging sessions in this year’s programme will help you do just that. Whether you are a content creator, a publisher, a writer, an academic, or a commissioner, we will bring you examples of new ways of working and potential new partnerships. As the sands shift, we all need to be open to the many different incoming influences.
I hope we all come away with new ideas and new ways of thinking about what we do, and the audience for whom we do it.
Chair, The Children’s Media Conference