Thursday, July 10, 2008

The word 'Gay' was used on Newsround today as part of its Olympic coverage. Sonali reported on who we should be looking out for. First mentioned was Usain Bolt from Jamaica, who Sonali said was the fastest man on the planet. "He can run 100 metres in 9.72 seconds. No wonder his nickname is Lightning Bolt. Next to the United States of America. That's where double world champion sprinter Tyson Gay lives. The clash between him and the Lightning Bolt will definitely be one of the highlights of the Olympics. In fact, last week Gay actually beat Bolt and ran the 100 metres in the fastest time ever. But because there was so much wind behind him it didn't count as an official world record."

The race to which Sonali referred was widely reported around the world. But it wasn't just Tyson's speed which made the news. A conservative Christian website, One News Now, disapproves of the word 'gay' and automatically converted occurrences of 'gay' into 'homosexual,' so that they reported the news as "Homosexual runs wind-aided 9.68 seconds to make Olympics."

CBBC Newsround's ethos is similar. The programme continues to treat 'gay' as an offensive word, but Newsround uses a more 'intelligent' filter.

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