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World news for children

Virginia Crompton Virginia Crompton | 13:37 UK time, Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Have we got too many dinosaurs? Have we got enough children’s voices? Does a story about eczema in the UK matter to youngsters in Tanzania? The kind of questions we’re tackling every day with BBC World News for Children. It’s a new audio news service for a new audience – children in the UK and around the world.

The bulletin grew out of the World Class project, which facilitates school twinning around the world. We realised that we could help twinning schools share ideas and communication by providing them with a “missing link”: shared News.

Radio News agreed to place an audio producer with Newsround. The result is a bulletin for kids in the UK, which goes out every morning Monday to Friday at 0756 on BBC7, and a slightly longer bulletin posted on the World Class and Newsround websites by lunchtime, with more international stories.

We work on the assumption that what interests kids in one part of the world is likely to be of interest to kids elsewhere. We try to tell it in a simple way but not shy away from some of the harder stories. We’re also trying to extend Newsround’s successful press packer format to kids all over the world.

So far the responses from kids themselves have been positive – we put up their comments on the Newsround website. But we’re keen to get more kids listening and sending in their audio reports – for more details have a look at our site.

There are big challenges - especially where children have poor access to the internet – but in a world with two billion people under 18 – that’s a massive audience to serve.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 04:59 PM on 30 Oct 2007,
  • Saeed wrote:

Fantastic! I'm gonna introduce my 6 y/o who is very much interested in int'l issues to this new bulletin.
The only thing I didn't like in the bulletin was the "showbiz" section.
I think a little bit of contextual info on the background of the issue would help the kids a lot to understand the message.

  • 2.
  • At 07:00 PM on 30 Oct 2007,
  • Rich wrote:

"We work on the assumption that what interests kids in one part of the world is likely to be of interest to kids elsewhere".

I did, however wonder how relevant Britain's national neurosis about our 'obesity epidemic' would seem to African schoolchildren (as shown on Breakfast this morning) - in a continent where many lack basic nutrition, propagandising about 'eating right' could appear to some almost offensive.

Which of course leads into the much deeper issue of how BBC News for kids seems to take the same patronising, moralising tone as its adult equivalent, only magnified by a factor of ten. Newsround in particular has become little more than an effective way of forcing the BBC agenda onto the next generation.

I grew up with John Craven, but I don't think I'd let my children watch the politically 'right-on' excuse for a programme that his former show has now become - I'd rather they took their worldview from a balanced source.

  • 3.
  • At 03:12 AM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

And you want to know why BBC's budget had been cut? Look in the mirror. Take a long good hard look and then tell me you still don't know.

  • 4.
  • At 07:53 PM on 07 Nov 2007,
  • fnusnuank wrote:

I just used to read the papers as I delivered them.

Plus JC's Newsround and the 6 and 9 o'clock news.

Reading 'children's news' I'm sure I would have found beneath me. Either you are interested or you are not.

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