Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An iconic kids' series ended yesterday. In the morning Newsround's Ore reported that for thirty years Grange Hill had dealt with lots of important issues like drug abuse and bullying, but it was ending because "CBBC bosses say they want to make sure programmes stay in touch with what's going on in your lives."

The final episode of Grange Hill was about an end of year school prom, and contained loads of heteronormativity but failed to consider how the school's lesbian and gay pupils would be accepted at the prom. It will be interesting to see how future CBBC programmes reflect the reality of today's diverse society.

Newsround Blog devotees may recall that in July I discovered that CBBC's Bullying message board didn't have any messages pertaining to homophobic bullying for a whole two year period between July 2006 and July 2008. I did however find plenty of threads which mentioned other forms of bullying. For example 'ginger' turned up in 164 threads and 'fat' was in 181 threads (blog 29 July 2008). What I failed to mention at the time was that I had also checked for a number of other causes of bullying - one of which was wearing glasses. That word was found in 116 threads, and bullying because of glasses formed the last news item on Newsround's 5pm edition on BBC One yesterday.

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