Letter: Save European TV

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The Independent Online
SUZANNE MOORE ("Spare the Teletubbies", 11 March) is right to argue that parents should watch more TV with their kids. But she misses a key point: that our children have a right to a whole range of tales from their own society, Europe and the rest of the world. What they are actually able to receive has narrowed, as cable and satellite kids' channels just recycle imported US animation.

This also creates unfair competition with terrestrial channels, who do invest in home-made programmes. These terrestrial channels are coming under increased pressure to cut budgets for kids' programmes, in order to compete. Our kids are told that Europe and the world is their oyster. TV often delivers a different message: the visual diet of a hamburger.

Much can be done - global exchange of programmes; more co-production; a European Kids Channel where we share the best of our programmes. Most importantly, we must retain the BBC. Public service broadcasting is the best guarantor still that our kids will broaden their minds, taste and literacy while watching the box.

CAROLE TONGUE MEP

(London East, Lab)

Ilford, Essex

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