Survey of 1,800
respondents shows a shocking picture of underage internet usage
A new online survey has
been conducted by the website ParentPort reveals that,of those
parents surveyed whose children watch films at home, 40% had allowed
their children to watch a film classified above their age.
ParentPort was set up in October 2011 to make it easier for parents
to complain about material they see or hear across the media,
communications and retail industries. It was jointly developed by
the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Authority for
Television On Demand (ATVOD), the BBC Trust, the British Board of
Film Classification (BBFC), the Office of Communications (Ofcom),
the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and the Video Standards
Council (VSC)/Pan-European Game Information (PEGI).
The survey of 1,800 respondents from the UK’s 2 largest online
parenting communities on Mumsnet and Netmums. The shocking results
have reveals the challenges and pressures parents face when it comes
to keeping the media their children see age-appropriate. Of those
parents surveyed whose children play video games, a quarter (25%)
had allowed their children to play games classified above their age.
Furthermore, 16% of parents surveyed said they had bought their
children a device or gadget; such as a games console or MP3 player;
which they themselves did not fully understand how to use.
However, the parents surveyed did not just give into their
children’s appetite for the media; many also closely supervise what
their children see and use. In fact, 82% of the parents surveyed
claimed they always know what films and television programmes their
children watch, and 77% said they always or usually know what
websites their children visit.
Meanwhile, the survey also uncovers parents’ boundaries when it
comes to media, with 1 in 8 of the parents surveyed reporting
concern that Christmas presents their child had received were
inappropriate for their age. Some reported being worried their
youngsters would have unsupervised access to the internet through
smartphones and laptops given as gifts. Others cited well-meaning
friends and family overstepping the mark; with examples of pre-teens
unwrapping presents of 18 rated video games, and under 10s receiving
12 rated DVDs.
Overall, the parents surveyed recognised the contribution the media
makes to their children’s lives. Over half (52%) of the parents
surveyed thought films and DVDs generally played a positive role in
their children’s lives. 49% cited television as also having a
positive effect, and 48% believed the internet also made a good
contribution to their children’s lives.
Of those parents completing the survey who knew about ParentPort,
94.7% rated the website as a 'very useful' or
'quite useful' tool for them as a parent, guardian or carer;
while 93.9% said they would recommend ParentPort to others.
Ed Richards, Ofcom’s Chief Executive said:- "This survey
reveals the challenges facing parents when it comes to their
children’s use of the media. ParentPort now gives parents an easy
way to register their concerns with the media regulators who work to
protect children from inappropriate material."
Guy Parker, ASA Chief Executive added that:- "Parents, carers
and guardians play an important role as the first line of defence in
deciding what’s appropriate for their children to see. But quite
rightly, they expect support from media regulators, which is why
ParentPort is such a valuable resource to help us understand
parents’ views. We encourage parents to take full advantage of it."
Martha Lane Fox, UK Digital Champion, also commented:- "The
world of media is speeding up and changing shape and anything that
helps people navigate the new landscape is to be welcomed."
So what do you are readers think? Do you agree with the findings?
Email us now to
let us know. Also do you think the internet should have age ratings
on all websites as well?
produce next generation of digital innovators
AN event to bring
businesses in the digital media sector into conversation with the
next generation of innovators is attracting the attention of a
number of key employers. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE)
is just one of the many businesses preparing to join local digital
development companies at the I ♥ Gaming event, hosted by The North
Liverpool Academy and its new government-backed Studio School.
I ♥ Gaming, from 13 February 2012, will give teenagers interested in the
digital future an opportunity to learn more about gaming, app design
and social media development as a career.
Workshops and presentations will encourage young delegates to gain
hands-on experience of 3D design, interactive TV and gaming, game
creation, designing apps, find out more about developing new gaming
platforms; and even starting their own ventures in the future.
As Dave Brown, Managing Director of Apposing, a Liverpool mobile app
design company, says, digital media is a fast-growing sector, with a
widening skills gap to match. "There’s a
desperate need for skilled developers. The more we can
attract young, skilled and enthusiastic people into the industry,
the better – for us and for them." says Dave,
Apposing is just one of the successful local companies holding
workshops at the event. Others include Onteca and Setgo, 2 digital
games developers from Merseyside. I ♥ Gaming’s organisers, North
Liverpool Academy, hope that more businesses will see the benefits
of taking part.
Says Kay Askew, Principal of North Liverpool College, says:- "NESTA predicts that Creative and Digital Industries will grow at
double the rate of the rest of the economy. Yet,
nationally, there is a significant skills shortage in this sector.
This is an important event that will bring companies into contact
with the people who will help their businesses to grow in the
Opening in September 2012, The Studio, in Liverpool, is one of a handful of schools
throughout the UK that offer a new concept in education, with closer
links to the real world of work. Offering a range of academic and
vocational qualifications, as well as paid work placements, it will
equip young people with the skills, experience and business know-how
that will help them succeed in rewarding careers. The Studio in
Liverpool is to specialise in digital technology and design.
The school itself will feel more like a workplace than a school,
with a 9am to 5pm working day and year round opening. It is
supported by Sony, plus a growing number of local and national
industry employers. "The predicted growth of the creative and digital sectors is
going to deliver exciting and rewarding careers for those young
people with the right qualifications and skills. The Studio School
is set to improve the employment prospects for young people across
the Liverpool City region by directly addressing this skills gap. I
would urge any student interested in a career in the gaming or
digital sector to come along to I ♥ Gaming. It will be a unique
opportunity to meet some of they key players within the industry and
explore the many options open to them in this fast growing
industry." Kay Askew adds.
For more information, visit:-
Lord Mayor Meets Firefighters
THE Lord Mayor of Liverpool
took part in a training experience, on Tuesday, 07 February 2012
with firefighters from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. In a
press release the Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Prendergast said:-
"We all know and appreciate the challenges firefighters face when
they are called to an emergency. However, it is not until you have
seen the training that firefighters undertake that you really
understand the problems and difficulties they face and the way an
injured or trapped person might feel. You can see how this continual
training is such an important part of the service to make sure that
those in need get the best possible service when they need it. The
firefighters do a fine job and it was very nice to meet some of the
crews." On the day he donned breathing apparatus and
protective clothing to see firefighters from Crosby Community Fire
Station and City Centre Community Fire Station tackle a blaze at the
MF&RS Training and Development Academy in Croxteth. He also listened
to a briefing on fire behaviour and used a hose as part of a
practice session. He even played the part of a road traffic
collision casualty. In the road traffic training session he sat in
the driver seat of a car as firefighters from Formby Community Fire
Station removed the doors and roof and carefully lifted him on to a