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NZ On Air opens kids debate

NZ On Air is turning its attention to the future of local media content for children, launching a consultation on proposed changes to the types of children’s content it funds.

In March NZ On Air released research it had commissioned along with the BSA on Children’s Media Use to inform its planned strategy. That research showed that while television is still a constant daily presence in children’s lives internet use has exploded, with children now accessing the internet via a growing range of devices.

A discussion paper released Tuesday provides an overview of the changing environment globally and at home, and suggests some options for change, to ensure New Zealand children can access local content wherever they mainly access media.

“In 2015 and beyond the way children consume media is rapidly changing. Standing still in a fast evolving environment is not an option. Our job is to ensure children can experience content that reflects their own identity, languages and culture on platforms and devices they prefer to use,” says NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

The discussion paper proposes a range of approaches from status quo through to a future-focus. NZ On Air invites interested parties to make submissions on the paper, and later in the year will hold a forum to discuss the options for change.

Any new strategy will take effect from July 2016.

“In the global media environment local content provided through funding from NZ On Air is vital to helping children develop their identity in a New Zealand context. We must ensure taxpayer funds provide the best opportunity for this important audience to find and enjoy content that engages, stimulates and satisfies them,” says Ms Wrightson.

The discussion paper can be read here.

Submissions can be sent to [email protected] by midday 17 July.

A date for the forum will be advised in due course.

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