Letter: TV invasion

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The Independent Online
Sir: Michael Forte refers to the "blanket bombing" of British television by American broadcasters with massive libraries of cartoons ("So many cartoons on TV, it's not funny", 8 October). There is, of course, a solution to hand. Under EU law, all TV channels must show a majority of British/European programmes (wherever practicable).

Clearly this law is not properly applied to cable and satellite channels such as Nickelodeon, the Cartoon Network and Fox Kids, whose content is overwhelmingly recycled and American. These channels thus compete unfairly with the terrestrial channels who do invest in locally made programmes. This is the Gresham's Law of broadcasting - bad practice is driving out good.

Our children have a right to see stories from their own culture and their own continent. On an exclusive diet of hamburger, it is difficult to see how they will be able to develop diverse tastes.

We could act in our own economic and cultural self-interest by asking such channels to invest a proportion of their turnover in home-made programmes. Under French law, the satellite channel Canal Plus invests 12 per cent of turnover in French/European film. This results in a massive pounds 70m investment per year. A similar measure here would transform children's TV.


(London E, Lab)

Ilford, Essex