Newsround axed after 48 years as show moves to YouTube

7 September 2020, 13:34

Newsround axed from CBBC after school slot as BBC moves show to YouTube after 48 years
Newsround axed from CBBC after school slot as BBC moves show to YouTube after 48 years. Picture: BBC • YouTube

By Rory O'Connor

BBC's Newsround has been axed from its afternoon TV slot after 48 years as the news bulletin aimed at children moves to YouTube.

Newsround "has a target audience of six to 12-year-olds and the stories", with the broadcaster saying "the language used in our bulletins reflects that".

However, officially, YouTube forbids children under the age of 13 to create their own accounts, and children between ages 13 and 17 are only allowed to open accounts with parental permission.

YouTube is intended for users who are at least 13 because Google, its parent company, collects and markets user data, leaving many Newsround viewers confused at such a move.

The news programme has run since April 4, 1972, and recently unveiled a series of changes, including an extended bulletin on CBBC and iPlayer, as well as their new YouTube channel.

Watchdog Ofcom previously gave the broadcaster the green light to axe Newsround’s afternoon TV slot.

The Newsround studio in 2020
The Newsround studio in 2020. Picture: BBC

It said: "If younger audiences don’t engage with the BBC, then public support for the licence fee could be eroded, which poses a significant risk to the future sustainability of the BBC."

Newsround presenter De’Graft Mensah said: "I’m not sad, because I think from when I was watching Newsround [as a child] – it wasn’t that long ago because I am only 24 – the world was a very different place.

"I grew up in a world where coming home to watch scheduled television was the law! It was something that everyone did.

"I’m quite happy that we’re now able to adapt. It’s a very bad move to be stubborn and stay as you are when everything around you is changing."

He added of the show’s future: "I can’t see why we wouldn’t be here in another 50, 60 or 70 years.

Newsround's 2020 presenter line-up
Newsround's 2020 presenter line-up. Picture: BBC

"The need for news for a younger audience will always be there… and I can’t wait to see what we look like then! Especially in the era of fake news, we are more important than ever."

Newsround will air one longer eight-minute daily bulletin every morning on CBBC and BBC iPlayer instead of two five-minute slots, with Newsround Specials including Growing Up Black In The UK and Why Don’t We Talk About Periods?, with the programme now having a dedicated environment correspondent.

Newsround editor Paul Plunkett said: "We are so excited to be relaunching Newsround today with more online content, a longer bulletin and a YouTube channel that we know our audience will love.

"Our Newsround team are passionate about reporting age-appropriate news stories across all our platforms that speak to the lives of today’s children.

"These changes reflect the changing media habits of our audience and ensures Newsround will remain relevant for generations to come."

It comes after the BBC reported they were "considering the case for bringing back BBC Three as a regular TV channel", four years after the broadcaster axed the TV channel and moved it online.