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Kids Industries report says children’s media consumption must be more inclusive

A new report has highlighted a greater need for diversity and inclusivity across children’s media, with parents in the UK and US keen to see more on screen.

Gary Pope

The report, from family-focused marketing agency Kids Industries (KI), was based on a survey carried out across 2,001 parents of children aged 5-15 in the UK and US.

Almost three-quarters of all parents questioned said that their child enjoys watching and listening to stories about characters who look or are different to them (67% in the UK, 79% in the US).

KI said an alarming issue for the industry to consider is that while 74% of parents agreed that their child learns about people who are different from them through the media they consume, 49% said that this media features many negative stereotypes of different groups (42% in the UK, rising to 56% in the US).

When asked what they would like to see more of, 41% of parents said they want to see storylines that explain real-world issues in a film or TV content and 26% of parents want to see equal gender representation.

A total of 29% expressed a desire for more ethnically diverse characters. Better disability representation was requested by 23% of parents and 12% would like to see increased LGBTQ+ representation.

Gary Pope, CEO at KI and children’s commissioner for global educational hub and membership organisation Products of Change in England, said: “Our research indicates that 67% of parents feel their children’s schools are good or excellent when it comes to their diversity and inclusion policies and approaches, which shows there is much more work to be done. We must listen to children and parent voices and ensure their needs and wants are reflected in the media that they consume.”

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