Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Hardly a month goes by now when another celebrity or media person isn't accused of sexual impropriety. Yet, ever since the revelations about Jimmy Savile, editors of BBC Newsround have decided that their audience doesn't need to know. Owenna Griffiths was, last year, asked by a very senior BBC manager - more senior than the Director of BBC Children's - to give a rationale for not covering the Savile story. Shortly afterwards Ms Griffiths went on attachment elsewhere in the BBC. Daniel Clarke is acting as the programme's editor until she returns.

There are good reasons for Newsround to cover these abuse cases. But principally to raise awareness of the issues amongst young people who may be, or have been, subject to abuse. Nevertheless, perhaps in a misguided understanding of child protection, Newsround remains silent. I believe silence about child abuse is not welcomed by children's welfare organisations such as the NSPCC and ChildLine, and the problem won't go away by simply pretending it doesn't exist.

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