Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It's Not Rocket Science

Did Rocket turn down the chance of dating Bethany Summer solely out of loyalty to his best mate, Dibber? Or was there perhaps some other reason? Time will tell.

But if Rocket doesn't want a relationship with Bethany, another Rocket - the Shaw Rocket Fund - does seem to be in close relationship with some senior people in the BBC children's department. The Shaw Rocket Fund exists to help Canadian TV companies. This is from their website -

The Shaw Rocket Fund is constantly on the lookout for investment opportunities in great television and digital programs that will fuel the imagination and intelligence of Canadian children, youth and families.

Eligible programs are evaluated on creative quality, financial strength, and the values and benefits they provide to the intended target audience, on all platforms. The strongest proposals, based on the evaluation and discretion of the Shaw Rocket Fund, are considered for investment.
Whereas some programmes backed by the Fund - for example Wingin' It and The Next Step - are, to an extent, racially diverse, the same is less true in respect of gay portrayal.

Newsround Blog has made extensive enquires in order to ascertain whether the Rocket Fund takes account of LGBT diversity when it decides which ideas to back. The Fund's non-response to any correspondence on the matter suggests that diversity has played no role in past decisions, and that it's unlikely to in future decisions.

Bearing in mind that the BBC is signed up to the Creative Diversity Network Pledge, it is difficult to understand why senior staff from the children's department have cooperated with the Canadian organisation. At least two senior BBC personnel have either worked as jurors for the Rocket Fund and/or helped out with mentorship and/or worked in an advisory capacity for the Banff Media Festival.

One of the Rocket Fund's panel of international jurors which, last year, nominated The Next Step for an award was also the person responsible for acquiring the programme for CBBC.

The following is an extract from the BBC's policy on expenses -

Whilst modest hospitality is an accepted courtesy of a business relationship, the recipient should not allow a position to be reached whereby its acceptance might be deemed by others to have influenced a decision or lead to potential allegations of conflict of interest.

The Banff World Media Festival begins on 8th June 2014. As in previous years, the 2014 Festival venue will be the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

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