Wednesday, September 23, 2009

For some reason best known to Newsround's editor, an item about deafblind kids was severely curtailed yesterday. It was originally due to go out on Friday at 5pm, but that was cancelled and a short piece went out yesterday morning.

Sonali: Now to helping kids who are both deaf and blind. As you can imagine it can be difficult to communicate with people, but now a new gadget is making that a lot easier. Leah's got the story.

An interview with Liz Ball from the deafblind charity Sense wasn't screened in Leah's report. Unfortunately Leah concentrated too much on the technology side of things, and not enough with helping to raise deafblind awareness.

A week before, on 15 September 2009, Newsround was telling viewers that they could be prevented from appearing on the programme -

Sonali: Hello there, I'm Sonali. First up to why you could be stopped from having your say on telly. The Government is looking at the rules on when kids can appear on TV shows like Newsround. Right now all we need is your parents' permission, but it might not be as easy as that in the future. Leah's been finding out more.

One of the kids interviewed said "I think that children should be allowed to express their opinions just as much as adults, because they don't know what we're feeling." Another said "I don't think it's very fair because adults always have their say but kids never get a chance."

Leah ended her report telling us that "the Government are still deciding exactly how the law should be changed, and BBC bosses are working with them to make sure you still have your say on TV."

If they're so keen to let kids have a say, perhaps those very same BBC bosses could let us know why:

1) .... in the face of enormous opposition, so many kids' message boards were shut down last year;

2) .... messages from older kids have been secretly filtered out from Newsround's feedback;

3) .... in 2007 the BBC broke its promise for Newsround to participate in Takeover Day, and why they continue to shun the event;

4) .... in recent times there has been no Newsround TV coverage about the UK Youth Parliament.

The UK Youth Parliament is due to convene for the first time ever in the House of Commons chamber late next month.

Takeover Day, this year is on 6th November. If the BBC were to fully participate then kids would have a chance to run Newsround and have a real say in what news is reported, and the way it is presented.

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