Press release from Strategic Communications

Australian children are more interested in television programs with good storylines than interactive content available on multiple platforms.

In a speech to ACMA’s forum on Young Citizens in a changing media world, Jenny Buckland, CEO of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, said claims that making great screen content for young people was a radically different proposition today, because of the huge amount of choice on offer and ability for interactivity, are wrong.

“Captivating content for young people in a converged media world is not about bells and whistles.  It’s about great stories and quality content.”

 “The technology enthusiasts of the 21st century have been confidently predicting the demise of television, the free to air networks, and linear story-telling for some time now.  They are talking up user-generated content, and making startling quotes and massive claims for that content usurping the place of a lot of professionally produced content. “

 “The ACTF has a panel of advisory schools right around the country, and what kids are telling us very clearly is that it’s all about the story.  Yes, they like interactive gaming, social networking and engaging with all sorts of technology. But when they go onto forums or chat rooms, or upload content to YouTube or other sites, much of the time what they’re talking about or uploading is based around the professionally produced content that they love and want to engage with. ”

 In October, the ACMA released a new research report called Digital Australians – Expectations about media content in a converging media environment.  It indicates that 77% of Australians tune in to watch broadcast television every single day.  By contrast, in the previous month 33% of Australians had watched video content from a site like YouTube, 13% had watched it from a site like BitTorrent, and the number who had actually created and uploaded video content to the internet was 6%. 

 Ms Buckland says that as the competition for viewers gets tougher, the standards are getting higher.  “Broadcasters have to commission better, more compelling content than previously, and they need local content, which viewers love, to differentiate themselves from other services.”

 “In the kids’ television space, the series being made in Australia at the moment are among the best in the world and children are finding and engaging with them in more ways than ever before.”

 A copy of Jenny Buckland’s full speech can be made available.

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