Saturday, October 27, 2007

The BBC's derisory teen 'brand' BBC Switch was hardly off the launch pad when it turned out that 'Delivering Creative Future' will result in even less funding. We are told the new plans for the Corporation are to "radically reduce duplication." So what was the point of the BBC inventing a new teen 'brand' in the first place? And why on earth are they so determined to push teens away from a perfectly good existing 'brand' - CBBC ? The answers I've received so far simply don't make sense.

When, last week, Newsround's website reported JK Rowling's comments about the fictional character of Dumbledore, it was the first time in about five and a half years that any lgbt-related news topic had been included. The report was still appearing occasionally in the website's top three 'most popular stories' for several days after its first appearance.

Despite the interest, no web feedback page was started and no discussion of the story appeared on Newsround's In The News messagebaord. Some messages were allowed through by the moderators on the Harry Potter board - quite a few saying how shocked they were.

Of course one of the reasons that children expressed shock is because of a low level of understanding about diversity, sadly made worse by CBBC's reluctance to adhere to the BBC commitment to be inclusive.

Newsround's web report was a small step forward, but a lot more needs to be done to make up for the lost ground of past non-inclusiveness. Their resident Harry Potter expert, Lizo, could have covered the story. Maybe there should be a press pack report from a Harry Potter fan, talking about the way they and their friends and family reacted to the news that Albus Dumbledore is gay.

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