Mediawatch-UK campaigns for socially responsible media
and against content which is potentially harmful.
Mediawatch-UK, originally known as The National Viewers and Listeners Association, was founded in the 1960s by Mary Whitehouse in response to a national ‘Clean up TV’ campaign. Mary Whitehouse, was a teacher who was alarmed at the profound effect television was having on the values and attitudes of the children in her care. From the earliest days the focus of her campaign was to protect children and young people from potentially harmful media.
Mary Whitehouse called on the media to strengthen, rather than undermine society and ethical values. These values remain at the heart of Mediawatch-UK today.
The media we consume has a huge impact on our moral, ethical, social and political values as well as the power to influence our society for good or ill. We believe in freedom of expression and that the media should exercise this with responsibility. We would like to see a media which exerts its influence positively and helps in the creation of a safer, happier and healthier society.
This is what we do:
• We initiate and stimulate debate on the impact of potentially harmful media. We work with industry, regulators, policy makers and parents alerting them to the effects of such material.
• We campaign against violent, sexually explicit and obscene material in the media.
• We monitor media output for breaches of standards and we campaign for the strengthening of existing guidelines, regulations and laws.
• We educate in media literacy, offering information and advice on how respond to, and protect children from, potentially harmful material.
• We help the public to make their concerns about the media known in the most effective way.
• We champion your rights which should not be overridden in the search for ratings and profit.
This is how we do it:
• We run ‘single issue’ campaigns to highlight specific concerns or push for better regulation or legislation.
• We make submissions to Public Consultations and Parliamentary Committees and Inquiries
• We lobby government ministers, regulators and industry
• We initiate research into media issues and publicise relevant academic research in this area
• We are regularly invited to present our opinion and research on television, radio, online and in the press.
• We monitor the media and highlight breaches in standards
• We take part in debates on media issues and also give talks to schools and other groups.