Ofcom’s response to the Byron Review

27 March 2008

The past decade has seen significant changes in the communications and broadcasting landscape. Children and young people are at the forefront of these changes: as our research shows, they are some of the heaviest users of new media, from text messaging to MP3 players, games consoles and the internet.

The internet in particular offers rich opportunities for them to learn, to get help with their education and to enrich their communications with family and friends, amongst others. But the internet also presents challenges, particularly to their safety and wellbeing, arising from exposure to potentially harmful or inappropriate material.

So we welcome the Byron Review and the opportunity it affords for a timely and balanced discussion of the issues. We believe the Review will inform and stimulate an evidence-based debate with industry, government and consumers about the possible range of activities to help address these real concerns.

In particular, we welcome the opportunity to begin the discussion about how best to secure consumer protection in the online age. At a time of sweeping change in content delivery, and in the type of content that is available, the overall goals of content regulation persist. These are to ensure that people have the information and skills they need to take responsibility for their media choices. In linear broadcasting, the schedule and the watershed are powerful and well understood tools for signalling the characteristics of content to audiences. Our aim must now be to help inform consumers for the online world.

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Ofcom’s Response to the Byron Review (PDF, 64.0 KB)
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Ofcom’s Response to the Byron Review (PDF, 300.0 KB)
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