Celebrating World Television Day

Wednesday, 21 November 2018 marks the United Nations' World Television Day. For the occasion, we'll be looking at an example of successful cooperation between Safer Internet Centres (SICs) and public TV broadcasters: the "Own It" programme developed by the BBC in partnership with the UK SIC.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day with resolution 51/205 on 17 December 1996 "in recognition of the increasing impact television has on decision-making by bringing attention to conflicts and threats to peace and security and its potential role in sharpening the focus on other major issues, including economic and social issues".

The UN further adds that 1996 marked the year when "television was acknowledged as a major tool in informing, channelling and affecting public opinion". At Better Internet for Kids, we see television as a medium having a great impact on children and young people's development. Therefore, it has the potential to offer significant opportunities for developing their digital and media literacy skills, as does the BBC's "Own It" programme, developed in cooperation with the UK SIC.

This programme is accessible both online and on TV. BBC director-general Tony Hall said that it will "maximise the amazing opportunities for children growing up in a fully connected world" while also "taking steps to minimise the risks". Importantly, the main purpose of "Own It" was to revolutionise online safety programmes for children, which had so far always been designed with an adult perspective in mind. Here, everything is about empowering children to be the bosses of their online lives, as goes the programme's slogan.

Concretely, online safety tips on cyberbullying, cyber hygiene, data privacy, harmful and disturbing content are embedded in the TV programmes, sometimes explicitly – as when popular YouTubers share their own experiences of online issues – or in a more subtle manner – as when the theme of online safety is injected in a TV show's storyline.

For more information, watch the Own It promotional video below, visit the Own It website (accessible in the UK only), or read the UK SIC's article on the new Own It app.

Find out more about the work of the UK Safer Internet Centre (SIC), including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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