Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In September last year, the Government launched some anti-bullying guidance. The guidance was concerned with cyberbullying and homophobic bullying, but Newsround chose to cover only the cyberbullying because, as Robert Thompson explained (see blog 1 October 2007), the focus on launch day was given to cyberbullying. Nevertheless, the homophobic bullying guidance was given some prominence by Ed Balls in his launch speech. He said:

"Homophobic insults should be viewed as seriously as racism. We must uphold every child’s basic right to learn in a safe and secure environment, free from bullying. Bullying of all kinds is a scourge on young people’s lives and the human cost can be devastating. It can leave young people feeling helpless and isolated and can have a damaging effect on their learning and school achievement. ...."

When I wrote to Newsround (see Blog entries on 23 September 2007 and 1 October 2007) I was told by Robert Thompson that he was in regular contact with Stonewall. He'd made some valuable contacts which he hoped to convert into stories in the 'near future.'

The homophobic bullying guidance was given its own relaunch in the lead up to LGBT History Month, but again nothing was reported on Newsround. On Monday I emailed Sinead Rocks, and told her that "I was naturally disappointed that there wasn't any coverage of the lead up to LGBT History Month 2008, and in particular the Government relaunch of homophobic bullying guidance near the end of January."

Louis-Georges Tin, the founder of IDAHO, will explain the priorities of the 2008 campaign at the prelaunch event for IDAHO on Thursday (IDAHO day itself is on 17 May every year.)

Newsround continues its policy of not covering LGBT stories or issues.

I'm still waiting to hear back from Mark Thompson about Anne Gilchrist's apparent attempt to deceive (previous three blog entries), as well as the rationale for the dearth of programmes for teens, and some other matters. In general, there has been an inordinate delay in replies from the BBC Executive.

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