Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Newsround got on my tits

I had a rant about news programmes a while back. Basically my position is they can no longer really be quantified as running actual 'news'.

Programmes and are merely entertainment shows largely based on celebrity gossip, the 'human angle' in any 'news' story and regularly manipulating stories to make a decent headline.

When I was kid (fuck me, have I really just started a sentence with 'when I was a kid'?) I used to enjoy Newsround.

For those not familar, it is, or was, a regular news round-up for children. It felt of genuine interest, and always interesting.

Their was a lot of information about animals, and their plights around the globe. News of struggles in countries far away as well as uplifting news from the globe and, indeed, our own isles.

I stopped watching it, probably in my early teens, so about twenty years ago.

Apparently it has been running 'strong' ever since, albeit with various format changes, and having done a tiny amount of research it would seem the most catastrophic change was the expansion of the show.

Originally Newround was just a daily ten minute dose for children. Short enough to ensure attention was maintained, and also that only the most worthy news of the day made it in. However it now runs as regular through-the-day bulletins, and has gone down the same sad roads as 24hour news bilge that we are subjected to.

My boy's television channel of choice has 'matured' from Cbeebies to CBBC, and as we are back in the school routine - TV generally on while I prepare dinner - I have actually caught it these last two days.

It pissed me off the first day, yesterday, as the lead story was how a professional footballer was still scheduled to represent his country in a game despite newspaper allegations about his private life. That is not news. And certainly not 'news' that is a priority for children to hear about.

Then today it got on my nerves further by running with 'news' of the Strictly Come Dancing line-up. I mean, come on, are you having a laugh? I know that these programmes are from the same stable, but again, not news, not news at all.

And when I went looking for stories about Pandas running out of Bamboo, or not having any led in their pencils, like the great stories of John Craven's yesteryear, I found a story about an orangutan needing to lose weight.

The story led with the 'diet' angle, rather than the great conservation work of Dorset's wonderful Monkey World. Kids need the latter.

I was further depressed that this, and the story of who I won't be watching on the lobotomy necessary dancing show ranked higher than a story of a child finding a bomb at his school.

Yes.

A child discovered a bomb at his school in Northern Ireland, and apparently this is less read than which prick is donning sequins for cash and celebrity exposure on TV.

The case can therefore be argued for giving an audience what it wants, but lets not dress it up as a news programme. It's gossip for consumers.

Mini consumers.

And it's wank.

Share/Save/Bookmark