Since its humble beginnings, Mediawatch UK (or National Viewers’ and Listeners Association’ as it was first known) has always sought to bring the public’s views to the attention of the broadcaster and encourage the individual to have their say.
A movement born in an ordinary suburban household in the early 1960’s (check) quickly gathered pace as it became clear that its founding members, a Mrs Mary Whitehouse and Mrs Norah Buckland were far from alone in their concerns about the negative effect the media was having on young people.
The media today is, of course, much bigger than the three broadcasting channels that Mary Whitehouse campaigned to restrain. With the advent of tablets and smartphones, children and young people increasingly have access to a wide variety of programmes and content at all times of the day (and night).
Youtube, Netflix, Snapchat and Instagram are popular sources of entertainment alongside traditional TV channels and their on-demand equivalents. Yet each one is subject to varying levels of regulation and control. This makes the task of protecting children and young people from inappropriate or potentially harmful material a hugely challenging one. Parents are expected to play an even greater role in supervising their child’s media activity in order to bridge the gap.
While we want politicians and the media companies to do much more to keep children safe around media, we also recognise that persuading them to take action can take time. Our children and young people deserve protecting NOW and that’s where parents and carers can actively make a difference.
The 9 o’clock watershed has been in place for over 50 years, reassuring parents that programmes shown before 9pm are suitable for children to watch. With more of us choosing to watch content on-demand or online– in effect bypassing TV schedules – Mediawatch UK has taken the well-understood watershed concept a stage further for today’s media environment.
It’s called MY9.
MY9 is the watershed, personalised. My9 is about individuals and families talking together about their media lives, and setting personal boundaries around suitable media content and use of devices. It doesn’t replace or ignore existing age and time restrictions on media use or consumption, however it invites families to design their own watershed; to fill in the gaps where little or no regulation is in place, and join the media dots together. MY9 creates an opportunity for families to explore and learn together. My9 encourages families to make positive media choices.
Don’t get us wrong. Mediawatch UK intends to keep arguing for greater responsibility to be exercised by media companies and regulators. But parents and carers play a vital role in keeping their child safe too, and that’s where MY9 comes in.
Look out for more news on MY9 on our website in the coming months.
You can make a difference
If you have an enquiry or would like any information, please get in touch.
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