Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Martin Dougan and Leah Gooding took part in a live webchat last Tuesday afternoon. One of the questioners asked: Is it hard to tell the news when you don't agree with it? How do you get through the situation?

Leah replied: My job is to tell you guys the news. My opinion doesn't count, I have to be fair and unbiased.

Martin responded: I still have to be professional and cover every story the same. I might personally have opinions, but when it comes to working at the BBC, You have to be impartial.

The reality is this ... some stories - the approved ones - get loads of coverage, but as soon as CBBC has any reservations, censorship creeps in.

The start of this morning's bulletin at 7.40am -

Ricky: First up, it's a story that's all over the front and back pages of this morning's papers ...

Ricky's story was about the future of David Moyes.

Another, more relevant, story about the South Korean ferry disaster has still not even been mentioned by Newsround. Perhaps it's been censored because Newsround presenters or their bosses think the news would upset children too much. But there's a very important lesson to be learnt from that story: Should people always do what those in authority say, or should they think for themselves?

When the ferry disaster occurred the captain told passengers to stay in their rooms. Many just took that advice and ended up getting drowned. But others ignored the advice and survived the ordeal.

If News has any real value, surely it's to help us learn from other people's experiences. By failing to report the Ferry story Newsround has done its young viewers a disservice.

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