Today is the BBC School Report day, and no doubt it will be amongst the stories covered by Newsround this evening. All very well, but the BBC has come in for quite a lot of criticism recently. A couple of days ago Chris Moyles was censured by Ofcom after he lampooned Will Young earlier in the year. It's not yet clear whether the BBC will penalise him in any way.
A consultative group is being set up by the Diversity Centre to consider editorial policy and portrayal issues in relation to sexual orientation. It is due to meet in the next few weeks. Members of the BBC's lesbian and gay forum, or BBC Pride as it's now known, have been invited to participate.
I have suggested that the BBC looks urgently into why the recent spate of attacks against LGBT people have, shamefully, been given less coverage than other crimes motivated by hate. Further issues which should already have been sorted by the Diversity Centre, but which the consultative group might look at:-
1) the question of casual homophobia by presenters such as Chris Moyles, Jonathan Ross, Graham Norton and Jeremy Clarkson;
2) the renewed representation of gay people as stereotypes on programmes such as Horne and Corden;
3) the low level of realistic LGBT representation in soaps and dramas;
4) the failure to cover LGBT issues on BBC children's TV, thereby implicitly condoning homophobic attitudes in society and homophobic bullying in schools.
Following the departure of Andrea Callender, the BBC has downplayed Diversity to the extent that their press office failed to issue a press release announcing the appointment of a new Head of Diversity*. This is a break with tradition, as it's usual for the BBC to give details regarding the appointment of a new head of department rather than keeping it under wraps.
*Edit note (23 April 2009): I understand that a new head of diversity has yet to be appointed. Amanda Rice is presently acting head of diversity. Apologies for this mistake.