At the beginning of May I was convinced that Newsround would report news fairly. But I am now starting to think my confidence was misplaced. Not long after my blog on 2 May 2007 many of Coronation Street's stars, including Antony Cotton (Sean Tully), Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley Cropper) and Rupert Hill (Jamie Baldwin) signed up to the Exceeding Expectations initiative which aims to end homophobia through education. I wasn't expecting a full report on Newsround, but it was exactly the right kind of story which could have been included on their celebrity gossip page. Other stories about Antony Cotton, including him winning ITV's Soapstar Superstar earlier in the year failed to meet Newsround's criteria for inclusion (see blog 15 January 2007).
I've mentioned Newsround's celebrity gossip page several times in previous blogs. On 6 August 2006 I showed that the gossip was centred on heterosexual relationships, and gay celebrity news wasn't covered at all. I emailed Tim Levell in February this year suggesting the heterosexism on that page be "toned down a little" and also suggested he look again at Newsround's Match the celebrity couples game.
My log of all celebrity stories confirms that nothing really changed since August, but I was interested to notice that the daily updates seem to have ended last Sunday.
As for the fact that the Newsround presenters' blog hasn't been updated for over a month, I think that is probably just down to apathy. I shall probably have a lot more to say about the celebrity gossip page in a future blog.