Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ethical policies

Last Tuesday Newsround carried a report about the Primark clothing chain. Sonali told viewers that the store had been asked to remove notices which had promoted Primark's ethical trading policies. It seems that the Newsround report was based on a BBC investigation into the trading practices of Primark which was broadcast one day earlier on the BBC News at Ten.

Yesterday was the third Monday of the year, which according to some researchers is also the saddest day of the year. Last year, on Monday 21 January, Newsround included a report on this subject with advice from agony uncle Aaron.

This year the programme had advice from psychiatrist Dr Mike Isaac, who said that feeling a bit gloomy this time of the year is very common, and sharing feelings with others can help. Many kids, especially vulnerable kids, found the CBBC message boards an ideal way of talking to each other and sharing their problems. I came across this message - one of hundreds from unhappy kids - a few weeks ago:

This is the best place ever.
When I felt down about something, I came here, I have fantastic e~buddies here!
It's bad enough I am bullied and so on, but now you've taken away one of the few places I've felt safe.
*cries silently and remembers horrid things...*
I am so upset.
I hope you find it in your hearts to keep this fantastic board.
And all of the phenominal people that contribute to the ficcies, and so on.

Why? That's a very good question, and one to which I'm trying to find an answer. And I'd also like to know the BBC's explanation for telling kids that the message board changes in December are an improvement. No one believes that, and again it seems that the BBC can't be trusted to tell the truth.

Not long ago the BBC got into serious trouble about deceiving people. It apologised and spent about £500,000 of public money on the Director-General's Safeguarding Trust initiative. But for what?

It's not only Primark which needs to get its ethics in order.

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