Catherine McAllister - BBC
Lead for online safety and Head of Safeguarding in the Children’s department, BBC
Catherine has been a judge of the Film Competition for the last 3 years, we spoke to her about her experience of being a judge and what she looks for in a winning film.
Can you tell us about what your role is at the BBC?
I’m head of safeguarding in the BBC Children’s department and I’m the BBC’s lead for online safety. That means I help if any problems are reported but I also help BBC production teams plan activities online and on social media.
Where do you see the internet in 10 years time?
I think it will be a more regulated space than it is now, and I think that for children that means it will be a happier, safer, and healthier environment. I think we’ll have more control over our private data, and we’ll understand much more about how it might be used and by who. I think children who have grown up with social media will, as adults, understand better about how to control the bad parts of the internet without restricting the many good things about it.
How has the internet made your life easier?
I wouldn’t have a job without it! I do everything online – all my banking, loads of my shopping, streaming films, programmes, using YouTube. I can’t imagine life without it, but I think there has to be a balance, like with everything and it’s important to make sure that it doesn’t stop you from doing other things you love. It can be very hard to resist the lure of Instagram and so I try to set myself some rules!
You’ve been a Film Competition judge a few times now, what is it that you like most about this role?
Seeing the inspiring creativity of all the young people who take part. It’s the highlight of my year :)
The theme this year is all about looking ahead and how we can make our future internet a positive place. What one thing do you think we could do to help achieve this?
Be as kind to everyone online as you would be if they were stood in front of you.
Favourite children’s film of all time?
There are so many that I love but I think it might actually be a really recent one – Coco. I watched it at Christmas and it was so beautiful and moving and powerful – it just blew me away!