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EBU DG Noel Curran highlights PSM commitment to protecting children online at WSIS 2018

21 March 2018
EBU DG Noel Curran highlights PSM commitment to protecting children online at WSIS 2018

EBU DG Noel Curran has told delegates at the World Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS) in Geneva that there is “no one better placed to protect minors online, and on air, than public service media (PSM)”.

The meeting represents the world's largest annual gathering of the ‘information and commuinications technology for development’ community.

In a speech to the Forum, Curran explained that protecting minors is “part of PSM’s mission to educate and inform: it’s in our DNA.”

“As an organization, we’re working closely with the authorities in Brussels to get the legislation more in step with the reality. The current provisions of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) need a refresh and many countries outside the EU are watching closely, as this is where the precedents will be set.”

Curran went on to outline the areas where the AVMSD provides less protection for minors online than in linear including the distinction made between TV content that is “likely to impair” minors whereas online it must not be “likely to serious impair” them.

Platform operators, such as Facebook, also currently have no responsibility for the content they carry and re-versioning children’s content, such as adding harmful messages, is allowed online.

“These are just three areas where change has to come,” Curran told the WSIS Forum.

He continued to outline the areas where EBU Members are leading the way in offering safe content that is targeted at young audiences:

  • Members provide more than 120,000 hours a year of appropriate children’s content on TV and radio
  • More than 70% have dedicated websites for young audiences
  • Broadcast 33 dedicated TV and radio children’s channels
  • and 6 dedicated internet radio and TV streaming services

Later in a panel discussion Curran also outlined media literacy as important to protecting children as much or more than any laws.

“There is no one better placed to do this than PSM, provided we get the right legal framework. A framework to protect children online as much as they are in the linear world, to rein in the lack of accountability of platform operators, and to allow PSM to continue to deliver their mission in a financially sustainable way.”

Relevant links and documents

Relevant Links


WSIS Forum Website