WHAT WE DO
Mediawatch UK wants to make the media work better for children and families. Our activities fall into two main categories:
- Raising awareness of potentially harmful and socially irresponsible media
- Educating on making positive media choices
We have a strong history of campaigning. You can find out more about our most recent campaigns below.
// AGE VERIFICATION FOR
ONLINE PORNOGRAPHY //
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We urged our supporters to write to their MPs asking them to back amendments to the Digital Economy Bill to give the proposed Age Verification regulator stronger powers to deal with non-compliant commercial porn websites. Following increased pressure from MPs the government eventually tabled an amendment effectively giving powers to allow ISPs to block commercial porn sites that refused to comply with age verification measures. These were subsequently passed.
During the Bill’s passage through the House of Lords, an amendment was tabled to lower the threshold from ‘prohibited material’ to ‘extreme pornography’. Mediawatch UK’s director featured on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour and in The Daily Mail as part of a campaign to highlight the impact of the Lord’s decision which would allow certain forms of violent pornography to be accessed behind age verification.
// FRONT PAGE CAMPAIGN //
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As part of an ongoing Front Page Campaign to limit the display of sexually explicit images around children, and in view of government guidelines published after the Bailey Review, Mediawatch UK contacted shopping centres alerting them to inappropriate window displays in branches of Ann Summers, following the release of Fifty Shades of Grey. The display showed an image of a virtually topless female model in store windows, only metres away from shops targeting children. As a result, several stores agreed to remove the image, with the Intu group taking action in all its UK centres. The campaign featured in the Daily Mail and local newspapers.
// THE PORNIFICATION
OF A GENERATION //
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Alongside partner organisations, Mediawatch UK organised an event in Parliament entitled The Pornification of a Generation: the under 30s perspective. The event was designed to raise awareness of the impact on a generation who have grown up accessing porn at the click of a button. The high-profile workshop gave an opportunity not only to hear from professionals working with young people, but also from those directly affected. Simultaneously, The Times published a letter signed by all the participants to draw attention to the harm pornography is causing young people, and calling on the Government to do more to protect future generations.
// BLOCK PORN //
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In 2011, as part of the Block Porn campaign calling on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to implement an opt-in scheme at the network level of their service to restrict access to pornographic content, Mediawatch UK, together with charity Safermedia, installed 10ft high letters outside BT’s London headquarters spelling out the words BLOCK PORN. The image was featured in The Daily Telegraph’s ‘Pictures Of The Day’.
Responding to consultations means we can speak up about things in the media that concern us. Please click on the boxes below to read our consultation responses
INTERNET SAFETY STRATEGY
REVIEW OF MANDATORY DAYTIME PROTECTION RULES
BBC COMPLAINTS FRAMEWORK
OFCOM REVIEW OF CHILDREN’S CONTENT
‘I feel overwhelmed!’ is a sentiment we often hear from parents.
As a parent or carer it can be a constant struggle to stay on top of the latest games, Youtube videos, or Netflix series popular with your child or teen, never mind the various parental controls and settings!
Yet parents and carers play a vital role in helping children navigate media safely and encouraging their critical thinking skills to evaluate the vast array of content.
We’ve put together a few links and resources below to get you started with managing your family’s media moments. Please let us know how useful they are – and any ideas you have for more by filling in the contact form below. We’d love to hear from you!
UK SAFER INTERNET CENTRE
Offers helpful advice, and has a helpline for supporting professionals working with young children with regards to internet safety
Info on how to to set up your child’s tech devices safely, and provides age appropriate toolkits to support parents and children
Your guide to the social networks your kids use. Stay up to date and keep your child safe in today’s digital world
ASK ABOUT GAMES
Helping families to make sense of video games
Enabling children, parents and teachers to become more media literate. Gives helpful advice on how media affects self image and identity
COMMON SENSE MEDIA
The go-to website for checking parents views for appropriateness of TV shows and films. Plus lots of helpful tips and advice
BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CLASSIFICATION
Find out specifics about film classifications and digital ratings
You can make a difference
If you have an enquiry or would like any information, please get in touch.
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