Tuesday, October 02, 2012

BBC editorial judgement was, once again, called into question yesterday when it was claimed that Newsnight's editor had vetoed transmission of an investigation into Jimmy Savile. It seems that some people at the Corporation were aware Savile was abusing children, but no-one was prepared to go public at the time.

Child safety was one of the topics broached at last week's Church and the Media Conference. During the discussion it was clear that CBBC bosses are aware, whether it's appropriate or not, that young people use social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

As for Newsround - it's unlikely they'll report the news about Jimmy Savile.

When Megan Stammers went missing, it was not until last Tuesday that her abduction was reported by Newsround (see previous blog)

Today's news about missing toddler April Jones wasn't reported on Newsround's morning TV bulletins, though the story is now on their website.

Sometimes caution in reporting a story is appropriate, other times not. However, in general a more open approach by BBC bosses would empower children to better understand the issues, and know when and how to speak out.

Going back to Newsnight, the BBC would have done well to have gone ahead with their report, but ensured that it was balanced and gave a rounded portrait of Mr Savile.

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