Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The BBC and half a story

The BBC 8am news bulletin covered the story about PSHE which I mentioned on Saturday. The BBC note the claims of the CESEW (12 February) that their lobbying led to the tabling of an ammendment allowing faith schools to teach PHSE in their context of their own principles. The BBC then note the objections to this ammendment.

What the BBC don't do is tell the end of the story, i.e. that the spokesman for the DCSF confirmed on 18 February that faith schools will not be able simply to turn this ammendment into another Section 28 by the back door (Section 28 for Local Authorities prevented teaching about homosexuality).

So, what is going on here? Well, it's possible the BBC aren't aware that the DSCF have already briefed against the CESEW's interpretation of the tabled ammendment. It is possible. But don't they read the website of the Department for Children, Schools and Families?

In the concrete, what not telling the end of this story allows, is for the government to be cast as the bad boy for letting those nasty faith schools to get their way. And the government doesn't like looking like the bad boy, especially not at the moment ... At the same time it allows for the BBC to drag up opponents of this ammendment - which government officials have already said doesn't mean what they fear it means - so they can say, once again and again and again, that faith groups should keep their preoccupations out of school.

That's what you call a zombie of a story, the living dead coming back to haunt us. Thanks, BBC for breathing life into it though. Top class journalism. Razor-sharp and cutting edge at one and the same time. It makes sure that opponents of the ammendment get to repeat and repeat and repeat their objections to faith schools - impartially of course - and it makes the government, who have already briefed against the CESEW, look like they favour faith schools ...

which is surely the best way to make sure they bloody well don't!

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