The New Zealand Children’s Screen Trust is part of the Tick for Kids campaign (www.tick4kids.org.nz). Tick for Kids is working to make sure children are a central focus in the lead up to the 2014 election and into the next parliament with the call, “It takes a child to raise a country!”
The NZCST asks the NZ Screen Industry, media organisations and people working in media to support our call for more quality media for New Zealand kids. This means more diverse and quality local programmes for New Zealand kids: local drama, science, news, animation and other under-funded genres on all platforms specifically made for kids. The NZCST is advocating that new funding is provided for kids screen content (A Junior Platinum Fund) and that a dedicated accessible online platform is provided.
Children and youth are an important audience today and tomorrow. We tell great stories as an industry – why not more great stories and more diverse local content for our kids?
The NZCST argues that media stories, characters, stories about how the world works provide a toolbox for children. What they view and hear teaches children how (and if) they fit into the world, and what ways they may fit into the world later as ‘grown-ups’.
“A strong sense of identity is a pre-requisite for creativity of the highest order. The relevance of stories to our own experiences enhances our sense of who we are. Our mental health depends on a belief that we have an identity and a place.” – Dr Ian Hassall (NZCST Trustee)
The recent findings released by the Growing Up Study (Auckland University) showed that “Many two year olds are using technology with ease, and a majority are spending an average of 1.5 hours per day in front of television.”
Worldwide apps and games and programmes are being made to target the youngest of our kids. “Get them early, the thinking is, and these viewers can be hooked for decades, shepherded through a media company’s offerings, whether ad-dependent or subscription-driven, as the youngsters grow up.” (NY Times, 4/7/14)
Let’s hook kids to New Zealand stories and content. The Danish Film Industry spends 25% of its budget on children and youth, with a positive impact on audience numbers. Countries such as Argentina have dedicated children’s channels that treat their children as citizens not just consumers. We want to expand the imaginative horizons of kiwi kids by having more of their stories on screen.
You can help by supporting the NZ Children’s Screen Trust, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@kidsonscreenz). You can also help by putting questions to your candidates about their policies for children and media; promoting Tick for Kids; enrolling to vote, and voting for the party who you think will do their best to put children first.
Your organisation can become a children’s media champion and be kept up to date with the NZCST activities. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The New Zealand Children’s Screen Trust is a registered charity that advocates for more diverse local media for New Zealand children and youth.