‘ITV takes minority stake in Channel Mum’ August 12, 2015 by Cathy R A message from Siobhan Freegard. Lovely news for Channel Mum yesterday when we announced our new Godparent: ITV. The official ITV release is here and you can follow all the amazing press coverage live on our Twitter feed. But I thought I’d tell you a bit about the story behind the headline. What is Channel Mum and why? The Why I had been watching the rise and rise of YouTube and video, but assuming it was primarily ‘for the kids’: a crazy, high energy, new generation media combination of Minecraft, make-up tutorials, teenage boys playing pranks on each other and of course, Zoella. Nothing for me there, move along please. We all like the occasional funny-cat or viral video, but someone will always post the best ones on Facebook or the Mail Online will pick them up, so even the ‘grown-ups’ get to see these eventually. But then I was having coffee with a younger mum, a Millennial in her twenties and we were discussing the generation-spanning, every day mum dilemma: what’s for tea. We both moved to our phones to google a particular recipe and while I landed on a recipe website, she went straight to a video. I stopped and asked her why and her simple reply was a perplexed ‘why would you want to read all those WORDS’. The What So I started to think about video differently. What could video convey that text can’t? What can video show better than words can tell? How could that relate to mums in other ways than recipes? Taking a deeper look into YouTube, I found a small number of ‘mummy vloggers’: mums who tell their stories, of their daily lives in video diary form. The ups and downs, struggles and victories of life with babies and small children. Their audience are other mums, pleased to tune in for a short while to watch other mums and learn, empathise, compare and contrast their lives. I loved these young mums and their stories and invited them to come together to create a single destination – a place mums could carve out as their own on YouTube that isn’t lost within the wilderness of teens, pranks and funny cats. And so Channel Mum was born. The How Thanks to sponsorship from Panasonic, we were able to create a mentoring programme for mums out there who had stories to tell, but who hadn’t considered a career in vlogging and so, each month new voices join the channel. Channel Mum is very new, but it already feels like a community, a safe place for mums to come and share their stories and their lives – whether as vloggers or viewers. As Stacey, one of our vloggers told me, ‘Our generation in some ways feel it’s easier to talk about our problems to a camera, than to a person’. I have always maintained that ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ but in modern times, as young families have become increasingly isolated and further apart from their extended family, Channel Mum is finding its place as the modern day village for millennial mums. I am immensely grateful to ITV for recognising this need and for coming on board to support the growth and development of this new village and I am very proud of all the vlogging mums sharing their lives and breaking down barriers and supporting each other on the intense, overwhelming, confusing, amazing journey of parenthood. Come join our modern day village of mums.