Children are being failed by the lack of provision for non-commercial television channels after digital switchover. Children have a right to access diverse local media. The failure to provide non-commercial spectrum is selling out children to commercial interests.
Television is still an important medium for children according to international studies. “There is no doubt that diversity of genres such as news, science, documentary and drama for children are difficult to fund in the current commercial environment. Children are not a prime time audience and their programmes do not attract commercial dollars,” says Chair of NZ Children’s Screen Trust, Janette Howe.
Children have a right to access diverse local media as part of the child rights convention (UNCROC) that New Zealand is a signatory to. Provision needs to be made for children as an audience today and for their future viewing options.
“New Zealand has seen the slow disintegration of public broadcasting so it is hard to fathom what we have lost. We need to reimagine the possibilities of what great screen-based content can provide and how it can inspire and inform, as well as entertain,” according to Ms Howe.