From classic shows like Round the Twist to recent hits such as Bluey, Australian children’s television is some of the best in the world. But with viewing habits changing and overseas shows streaming into homes around the country, the sector is facing significant challenges.
To better understand the role that Australian children’s TV plays in our lives and help shape the next generation of hit shows and online content, Swinburne researchers are collaborating with the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) on an innovative four-year research project. And you’ll be able to have your voice heard.
The Swinburne research team, led by chief investigators Associate Professor Liam Burke, Dr Jessica Balanzategui, and Dr Joanna McIntyre, will be looking at how audiences are responding to changes in technology, local content legislation and evolving tastes.
Researcher Dr Jessica Balanzategui said that the removal of quotas for minimum hours of local children’s content on commercial TV last year was already having an impact.
‘Commercial broadcasters are no longer required to support local kids’ TV, and streaming services, which are increasingly popular, also don’t have any requirement to distribute local children’s content’.
‘Australian audiences are at risk of not seeing shows and content that reflect local culture,’ Dr Balanzategui says.
40 years of iconic TV
ACTF are the national children’s media production and policy hub behind much-loved shows like Round the Twist, Dance Academy and Hardball.
ACTF CEO Jenny Buckland says Australia has been creating world class content for more than 40 years, but that technological changes are disrupting the industry.
‘The way children and their families are watching that content is changing,’ Buckland said. ‘We’ve teamed up with Swinburne to better understand our audience and the impact of the investment and support we provide for Australian children’s content.’
ACTF are behind much-loved shows like Round the Twist (pictured above).
The research team is encouraging the participation of the audience in this research, with Associate Professor Burke and Dr McIntyre asking everyone to get involved to help shape the future of children’s television in Australia.
‘We want to take you down memory lane and learn about how you find and watch kids’ TV shows today, whether you think they reflect the changing face of Australia, and how you share your favourite shows across generations’, Associate Professor Burke says.
‘The opinions of all viewers are a key part of this research, whether they are young or young-at-heart,” says Dr McIntyre.
The research project, known as Australian Children’s Television Cultures, is based at Swinburne’s Centre for Transformative Media Technologies.
You can have your say by completing this online survey.