Saturday, May 04, 2013

The last few months have been uncomfortable for the BBC. It started with revelations that Jimmy Savile had made use of the Corporation for his own vile purposes. But it turns out that Savile was not alone, and others were similarly taking advantage of the power and respect they enjoyed to harm children and young people. Stuart Hall is the latest to be condemned, as more staff admit they suspected impropriety.

Rather than helping to alert kids to the dangers of predatory adults, Newsround has remained completely silent. So why has BBC children's TV taken this stance?

Well according to an email I received on 9th April (see previous blog): "the choice of stories, and how we report these stories, across all of the BBC’s news programmes is a matter for the individual programme editors."

But is that always true? Isn't it the case that the BBC sets overall editorial standards and that individual programme editors have to abide by those standards. And if they don't, presumably the editors are answerable. If that is not the case what is the point of having editorial guidelines in the first place?

Perhaps there are a few clues about the culture of the BBC in Respect at Work (pdf) - a new report which has found that bullying is something of a problem, and staff have been too frightened to speak out.

Newsround Blog will have much more to say about this.

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