Sunday, October 30, 2011

Newsround at 8.55am this morning -

Leah: First to the St Paul's Cathedral demonstration. We've heard this morning that the Bishop of London will meet with the protesters to ask them to leave. The protests have nothing to do with St Paul's itself; protesters are there because it's near the London Stock Exchange, where banks and money organisations are based. Protesters are angry about how banks and governments around the world are using money.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It seems I'm not alone in criticising of the BBC's poor coverage of minority sports. In January Newsround Blog questioned why they took the decision to do away with Sportsround, and replace it with MOTD Kickabout.

To add insult to injury, MOTD Kickabout lingered on through the summer, filling its time with pointless nonsense such as spoof holiday postcards from famous footy players. MOTD Kickabout is dire, and should make way for a return of Sportsround, or a similar programme responsibly dealing with a variety of sports.

Football is a favourite topic for Newsround. This morning, for example, there was the news about Carlos Tevez's intention to sue boss Mancini. But Newsround is, once again, late with controversial news involving John Terry - so far there has been no mention of the racism row involving the England captain and Anton Ferdinand. And the other footy racism row between Suarez and Evra has also been given a miss.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Eagle-eyed viewers of CBBC's Sarah Jane Adventures who watched The Curse of Clyde Langer story might have noticed a name above the counter where food was served to homeless people. The charity was called Steven's Point.

Sarah Jane Adventures - The Curse of Clyde Langer
Steven's Point

Unlike Centrepoint, Steven's Point appeared to promote the Christian religion. First we saw a crucifix on the wall from a distance:-

Sarah Jane Adventures

and then, twenty seconds later, it was shown in a much closer shot:-

The Curse of Clyde Langer
I wonder whether homeless people with different beliefs might have felt unwelcome, or at least a little uncomfortable, going to Steven's Point for food. Also, what about all those gay daughters and sons who are thrown out by parents on account of old-fashioned religious attitudes. That's the reason why organisations such as Samaritans do not allow their volunteers to wear religious jewellery when talking to people who've come to them for help.

Unfortunately CBBC's Homelessness season avoided mentioning any LGBT-related issues, but compare this with my blog on 15 October 2011.

Friday, October 21, 2011

By the time kids start primary school many have picked up signals that 'gay' is a bad thing to be, and use the word as a term of abuse. Lack of gay characters on kids TV only serves to condone prejudice, and thus make the homophobic bullying worse.

Earlier this year the BBC's Director of Children's visited a group called Families Together London which represents families with LGBT children. The purpose of his visit was to talk about making children's TV inclusive, in order that all youngsters grow up being accepted and valued.

So what, if anything, is the BBC doing to challenge homophobia?

On 20th December 2010 the Director of Children's wrote in an email to me: "The pace of change is undoubtedly slower than you would like, but I would ask again that you accept my genuine and heartfelt intention is to improve things." And the message of 'It Gets Better' is that kids being bullied at school should be aware that things will be better when they get older.

FTL say they were told that nothing is going to happen 'tomorrow' - but as I mentioned in June for some kids ‘tomorrow’ is already too late.

Five months ago Jamey Rodemeyer made his own YouTube video with that very message - that it gets better. Tragically Jamey killed himself last month. And then just last week another boy, Jamie Hubley, killed himself. He was homophobically bullied at school and, with reference to the 'It Gets Better' campaign, had blogged "I don’t want to wait three more years, this hurts too much. How do you even know it will get better? It’s not."

This year Anti-Bullying Week begins on 14th November 2011, and hopefully CBBC's Newsround will not shy away from addressing the specific problem of homophobic bullying. In previous years they have failed.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Over the last week Newsround looked at the issue of Homelessness. Hayley began her series of reports by trying to experience for herself what it's like to be homeless on the streets of London. Hayley pointed out at the start, as part of a live report from Piccadilly Circus, that the reality would be much more difficult top cope with:-

Hayley: ... what I will always be aware of throughout this is that, while it might be tricky for me - I mean I might get a little bit cold and a little bit scared at some points - it's nothing compared to what actually homeless people are going through. Because I know that tomorrow night it's all going to be over, and I'm going to get to go to my nice warm bed. But for them, they don't know when it's going to end. And that must be really scary. ....

A summary of Hayley's homeless experience was broadcast on Tuesday at 5pm.

Newsround timed their coverage of homelessness to coincide with a story in the 'Sarah Jane Adventures' series on the CBBC Channel: The Curse of Clyde Langer.

In the story Clyde receives the curse from a totem pole whilst on a museum visit. His friends and family all turn against him, and Clyde finds himself forced onto the streets where he meets another homeless teen called Ellie Faber.

Ellie: I've been through bad stuff in my life. Maybe it doesn't matter now.

Clyde: I don't understand.

Ellie: Two years I've been telling myself I'll get off the street - I'll get on some sort of scheme. Get a job. Get a flat. Get my life back. Meet a nice boy. That was my dream. Now it's starting to come true.

The Curse of Clyde Langer
The Curse of Clyde Langer
Two scenes from The Curse of Clyde Langer

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Very sad to learn of the news about Harry Moseley, who died of brain cancer last night. Harry's work on behalf of others was inspirational.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The first item on Newsround at 5pm last night was about the Rugby World Cup. They began with a brief summary of the weekend matches. And then this:-

Sonali: .. When it comes to England, what's been going on off the pitch has been creating more of a stir than what they've been doing on it.

Sonali: Ever since the England team touched down in New Zealand they've been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Within hours of playing their first game vice-captain Mike Tindall got into trouble for having a big night out in a bar. Then two coaches were suspended for illegally trying to switch balls during the game, before a Jonny Wilkinson kick. And now James Haskell, Dylan Hartley and Chris Ashton have been told off for being rude to hotel staff. It's something that's got the England manager very angry. He wants his players to be better role models. ...

Towards the end of her report, Sonali commented: "Playing for your country is such an honour, you'd think teams wouldn't dare do anything wrong."

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Royal Charter details six BBC public purposes. One of those purposes is "Representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities." Amongst other things, the BBC is supposed to cater for the different nations, regions and communities of the UK, and to represent each of them to the rest of the UK.

Newsround on Friday evening had quite a lot to say about the Rugby World Cup:

Leah: .. It's a big weekend for rugby fans in England and Scotland. That's because the two sides are taking each other on in the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand tomorrow. Both teams will be going all out for victory, for a place in the quarter finals. And because it's such an important match we got England star, and World Cup winner, Jason Robinson to give us the lowdown. (75 second video, with Jason giving his views on what would be needed to win)

There was no mention of either the Wales v Fiji match or the Ireland v Italy match, both of which took place this morning. Neither were the matches mentioned on Saturday's Newsround bulletins. Today was a different matter. This morning at 8.55am Joe began with the Wales result:

Joe: Hi guys. You are in the right place to find out what's going on in the world today, so stay right there. First up, while most of you have been sleeping Wales have been hard at work in the Rugby World Cup this morning, thrashing Fiji 66 - nil. They scored a whopping nine tries, including this one from Sam Warburton. It means they're now through to the quarter finals. But elsewhere it's bad news for Scotland - they're out of the competition after Argentina overtook them in their group, winning with 25-7 over Georgia. And, right now, Ireland are in action against Italy. If they win they could face Wales in the quarter finals. Right now they're winning 6 -3.

And then at 10.55am this morning:

Joe: Hi guys. Joe here, with loads of fresh stories to tell you about. First up, it's all go in the Rugby World Cup. So far this morning Scotland have been booted out of the competition. Wales have hammered Fiji 66 - nil. And in the past hour Ireland beat Italy 36 - 6. It was a great 24th birthday present for winger Keith Earls, who scored this - his second try - in the closing minutes of the match. Ireland and Wales will now face each other in the quarter finals.

Gareth Thomas - former Wales rugby captain 2nd Oct 2011
Gareth Thomas on ITV RWC2011 commentary team