July 22, 2005

NEWS: Alison Sharman's creative vision for CBBC announced at Showcomotion

SOURCE: Showcomotion email-list

PRESS RELEASE: Release date 22 July 2005








Alison Sharman, recently appointed Controller of CBBC, gave her first public statement on her aspirations for the BBC?s children?s services in this year?s key-note address at the Showcomotion Children?s Media Conference. 

Sharman, the new controller of Children's BBC mapped out her vision for the department, pointing to the harnessing of technological changes in the digital era as one of the key challenges facing content makers and broadcasters.

Speaking in Sheffield at the weekend, Sharman said she wants CBBC to be at the forefront of a technological overhaul at the corporation. "In this age the role of CBBC is increasingly vital to the BBC. It should rightly be in the vanguard of the new and emerging media platforms."

She said younger viewers were fast to take up new technologies.

"The phenomenal success of the iPod, demonstrates to me some important general themes about the way media consumption is evolving. It is going personal, mobile and, most important, on-demand. How long before we see the video equivalent of iPods as the must-have gadget for teenagers?" she said.

"It is not enough just to upgrade what we currently do, we need a whole new operating system, a new way of thinking about and executing content creation and delivery. We need - in many ways - to redefine what we mean by broadcasting."

She said the BBC's challenge was to take great brands such as Blue Peter and offer it across every platform.

Some old favourites are entering the digital age, as Sharman used her speech to confirm the return of children's classic Jackanory.

Mindful of recent events, Sharman outlined a second key challenge: ?addressing the diverse world of tomorrow, a tomorrow that ? in the face of a fragmenting society ? looks ? at one and the same time ? increasingly exciting and increasingly unsure.?


?We must be ever mindful that children are in the process of becoming world citizens of tomorrow.  As broadcasters we have out share in the responsibility to ensure that those citizens are informed both intellectually and emotionally.?

Sharman?s speech is available at the website: www.showcomotionconference.com.

During the full two days of debates and sessions, the speakers included: Steven Andrew, Controller Off-Peak, ITV; Michael Carrington, Head of Acquisitions & Animation, CBBC; Jack Davison, Head Of VOD Product, NTL; Estelle Hughes, Editor CITV; David Kleeman, President, American Centre for Children and Media; Howard Myers, Director of Programmes, Disney Channel UK; Lucy Pryke, Programme Manager, Discovery Kids; Elaine Sperber, Head of Drama, CBBC; Linda Sullivan, Director, MediaFund; and Nick Wilson, Controller Children?s Programmes, five TV.


Anna Home, CEO of the Children?s Film & Television Foundation, and Conference Chair said:

"Over 200 delegates and speakers made their way to Sheffield for the 2nd Showcomotion Children?s Media Conference.  That?s over 100 more than last year, which in itself highlights the desire for children?s media creatives to meet at their own dedicated forum to discuss issues pertinent to the future of our industry.  At the conference, Alison Sharman firmly set the agenda for the BBC?s children?s services.


But issues remain: some commentators are starting to say that free-to-air children?s programming, apart from the BBC, is under threat in the UK and that, unless consumers can afford the various digital packages on offer, choice and quality will be severely restricted. In fact, will there be much of a future for UK-made, quality programming for children or will current pressures radically alter the market in which we all work?  The Showcomotion Children?s Media Conference Advisory Committee will seek to continue the debate to ensure that children?s interests are being addressed.?


The Showcomotion Children?s Media Conference is the only conference in the UK dedicated to children?s television, film, radio and interactive media. Independent producers, broadcasters, film makers, commissioners and freelancers can get together for two days of discussions, workshops and intensive sessions which focus on all the new and future developments in children?s media.


The Showcomotion Children?s Media Conference was held at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield.  The conference took place during the 7th Showcomotion Young People?s Film Festival.  The conference was funded by Sheffield Single Pot, five, Milkshake!, BAFTA, CiTV, Darrall Macqueen, Disney Channel, HIT Entertainment, Novel Entertainment, WisedUp, Sheffield University Centre For The Study Of Childhood And Youth.  In-kind sponsors were Childseye, Mediacom, Platform Post Production and Media Partners were C21 Media and Screen Digest.


For further information contact Kathy Loizou, Showcomotion Kathy@showcomotion.org.uk

Images available, photocalls can be organised on request: 0114 276 3534   


Chris Schuepp
Young People's Media Network - Coordinator
c/o ECMC (European Centre for Media Competence)
Bergstr. 8 / 10th floor
D-45770 Marl - Germany
Tel.: +49 2365 502480
Mobile: +49 176 23107083
Fax: +49 12126 23107083
Email: cschuepp@unicef.org
URL: www.unicef.org/magic
Mailing list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/youthful-media
The YPMN is supported by UNICEF and hosted by the ECMC.
The opinions and views expressed in this message and/or articles & websites linked to from this message do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.

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