Thursday, January 08, 2009

CBBC has betrayed kids

It's long been a theme running through this blog, since it began in 2005. But the depth of CBBC's betrayal of children has never been more obvious than over the last month. We're not just talking about discrimination against LGBT kids, and not just covert discrimination against teenagers which was uncovered by Newsround Blog.

Thousands of ordinary school children are now left with just a minimal CBBC message board service, and the Agony Uncle service which used to provide expert personal advice is about to disappear. Yet the people in charge at the BBC know exactly the damage they're causing by these so-called improvements. BBC Director of Vision, Jana Bennett acknowledged the importance of peer help when she told Showcomotion in July 2007 that kids learn through the experience of others with whom they can relate.

Newsround gets a lot of feedback about children's worries, but the programme isn't willing to investigate what has happened. Newsround's journalists, it seems, are too timid to show some independence and hold the BBC to account. This wasn't always the case, and I've been informed that the last but one Newsround editor left the programme on account of proposed changes which he wasn't prepared to accept.

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