Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Archbishop of York has decided, once more, to speak out against marriage equality. It seems the Archbishop believes the legislation is unnecessary because it's intended to meet the emotional need of a small number of people rather than to right an injustice. The Archbishop fails to appreciate that emotional needs are substantially bound up with injustice. I have heard directly from Archbishop Sentamu about various issues, so more about his views in a future blog.

Not long ago Newsround asked  "Is there something that matters to you that you think no one else cares about? Or maybe you've already done something about an issue that affects you. We want to know the things that really matter to you."

Of course CBBC used to have a lot of message boards. But, as part "improvements" to the CBBC website, most of the important message boards were closed down. Kids were no longer able to use BBC message boards to discuss exactly the issues Newsround had asked about. I'd imagine if the message boards were still in place there would be discussions about racism, homophobia and bullying, as well as the hot topic of 'gay marriage'

Newsround Blog has, on several occasions, pointed out that removing well-used kids' message boards was misguided. The Corporation's lack of concern can be judged from how long it took former Head of BBC Children's, Richard Deverell, to reply to a letter from Kathleen Marshall, then Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People. Kathleen originally wrote to Richard on 14th January 2009, but Mr Deverell did not reply until 24th March 2009 - well over two months later. With such apparent lack of respect towards someone charged with looking after the interests of children and young people, it hardly comes as a surprise that the BBC has scant regard for its audiences.

About ten days ago a 15 year old boy, Travis Corr, took his own life. He'd been a victim of school bullying. It remains to be seen whether BBC Children's will take steps to try and prevent any more tragedies. Properly inclusive programming would help, as would more pro-active school anti-bullying practices.

All young people should be given a voice and taken seriously. BBC Children's has just gone on its own merry way, chock-a-block with vulgarity and puerile humour for far too long.

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