Sunday, September 28, 2014

Being the Boss

Episode 2 of The Dumping Ground Survival Files is about being the boss. Like other programmes in the Survival Files series, it uses examples from CBBC's Tracy Beaker to illustrate the points being made.

Faith: "On The Dumping Ground Survival Files this time ... what it takes to be the boss ... the problems and pitfalls of being in charge ... and when being a leader becomes being a bully. Today we're gonna be talking about power and leadership .."

Faith suggests viewers look at some examples of leadership. "What makes Mike such a good care worker?" We hear about some of Mike's good qualities, and then, in contrast, about how bad Dennis was as the person in charge.

Faith: "Tell me about this Dennis guy. What made him such a bad boss?"

Rick: "Well, he's Dennis in't he - loves power, but hates people."

Faith: "Dennis was a bad leader ... he was power-mad, cruel and corrupt."

The episode goes on to give more examples of good and bad leadership, though one important issue was barely considered. True, many leaders are power-mad and corrupt, but the smarter ones aren't necessarily cruel at all - they might even come across as quite beneficent. And they've gradually built themselves up into such a powerful position that none of their subordinates dare question their authority. In fact, more often than not, employees feel honoured just to work for a seemingly untouchable boss.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Some people expressed concern when Newsround ended its forty-year run on BBC One. After December 2012, Newsround TV bulletins were confined to the digital CBBC channel. The BBC defended the decision, arguing that five times more kids watched Newsround on CBBC than watched it on BBC One. The Director of BBC Children's said it felt like the right time to stop the regular blocks of children's programming on BBC One and Two. He added: “We have no doubt that children will continue to access daily news - including through regular five-minute bulletins at 4.25 and 6.55pm every day.”

For reasons yet to be explained, the Friday 6.55pm edition of Newsround was removed from CBBC schedules ages ago. But then, more recently, 6.55pm editions began to disappear on other weekdays too - mainly during sports events such as Wimbledon, the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. It looks like the last 6.55pm Newsround edition was broadcast on 24th July 2014, although there's been no official announcement to the effect that the late bulletin has been axed.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

The Next Step, CBBC's dire acquisition from Canada, returns to our screens on Wednesday afternoon at 5.30pm. Backers of the mockumentary, as well as its creator/writer, Frank van Keekan, have declined to answer any questions about diversity in the current or future episodes. Newsround Blog readers may recall one episode in which some of the characters are seen laughing at the "funny" British accent.

A somewhat more worthy children's series starts on Wednesday at 5.55pm. Unlike The Next Step, CBBC's documentary, Our School, is real and unscripted. It follows a group of children, in 2013, as they stepped up from various primary schools to their new secondary school, Conyers School in Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees. The first episode of Our School was originally broadcast last week but is being re-screened, and is on the iPlayer. Conyers allowed CBBC to rig the school with "loads of cameras" in the classrooms, corridors and the playground:

Camera being installed in a Conyers School classroom