Ofcom has released a report exploring how media was understood and used by children and young people aged 3-17 in the UK in 2021. The report is part of wider programme from Ofcom, ‘Making sense of media’, and is intended as a reference for policy makers and the general public. Findings from the report include: in the past 12 months, 36% of children aged 8-17 said they had seen something ‘worrying or nasty’ online; and 84% of 8-17 years olds that had experienced bullying were more likely to be bullied via technology rather than face-to-face.
However, eight in ten children aged 13-17 used online services to find support for their wellbeing, and 96% of the parents surveyed felt that being online was helpful to their child, despite the risks. Recommendations include: improving children’s ability to recognise misinformation; and ensuring that there is adequate device and internet access for all children to prevent them missing out developmentally, socially and educationally.