Monday, October 01, 2007

Government guidance on bullying

On 21 September 2007 the Government issued new guidance to deal with homophobic bullying and cyberbullying. (see blog 23 September 2007). I asked Newsround why they had only reported on cyberbullying, and they answered that the focus of the guidance was cyberbullying. So they thought "empowering children offering them practical tips how they can combat cyberbullying themselves" was the most responsible way to cover the story.

I pointed out that the BBC is committed to inclusiveness, and that there are special problems associated with homophobic bullying which need to be tackled - otherwise some, but not all kids would be helped. These problems are discussed in a ChildLine Casenote (pdf file), published 29 August 2006. That, too, wasn't properly reported by Newsround at the time (blog 30 August 2006). However the previous Government guidance on cyberbullying was the first item reported on Newsround last year (BBC1, Tuesday 25 July 2006). And whilst their website bullying guidance already covers cyberbullying, there is no mention of homophobia or homophobic bullying.

Recently Newsround has become a more diverse-friendly programme. It is less London-centric, and it seems to be addressing respect for people's differences. But there is still some way to go, and so far they haven't made up for many years of lost ground on reporting relevant lgbt news.

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