Tuesday, January 06, 2009

It seems, unfortunately, that Newsround will not be investigating the message board closures which took place late last year (see previous blog entry)

The closures have, with a very small number of exceptions, been condemned by kids, and the BBC continues to insult the public by labelling the changes as improvements. It has been suggested to me that the changes were to save money, but if that's the case why didn't the BBC simply take the opportunity, handed them by Jonathan Ross, to save £18 million.

One of the few surviving Newsround message boards is intended for the discussion of showbiz topics. So it's interesting to note that, for some reason, Newsround gave no coverage at all to last year's I'm a Celebrity - Get Me Out of Here! But another popular programme, which did get a lot of coverage on Newsround, was The X Factor.

The X Factor final was on 13 December 2008 and it was scheduled directly against the concluding programme in the first series of Merlin. But strangely it was ITV's The X Factor, not the BBC's Merlin, which was afforded a 1'30" Newsround report on the day. Of course the BBC, including Newsround, never missed an opportunity to promote another Saturday night favourite - Doctor Who.

Unusually for Newsround nowadays, their website was updated late that night in order to cover the X Factor result.

On Monday 15 December, two days before the release of her CD, Newsround screened an interview with Alexandra Burke. Viewers were told that "most people reckon" she is heading for superstardom. Next came the interview itself, lasting 1'50" but more is available on the website. With all this reportage, a person could perhaps be forgiven for suspecting that X Factor actually had someone working for them in the Newsround team. And as recently as yesterday Newsround reported that Alexandra is still at number 1 in the singles chart for the third week.

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