Azara Blog: BBC prints a misleading press release from Barnardo's

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Date published: 2007/06/26

The BBC says:

A campaign designed to change people's attitudes towards troubled youngsters has been launched by UK children's charity Barnardo's.

Double-page adverts are being placed in newspapers and a radio feature has been voiced by James Bond star Daniel Craig.

It comes as Barnardo's publishes a survey suggesting about a quarter of adults feel disruptive children are beyond help by the time they are 13.

Two-thirds of respondents said it was never too late to help young people.

But around a fifth of the 1,000 people questioned in the poll, conducted by NOP GfK, thought youngsters were beyond help by the age of 10.

Barnardo's has worked with young people for more than 100 years, but says that children have never have been so widely dismissed.

The charity said the advertisements feature the stories of troubled youngsters who might have alienated people but who it feels are worth supporting.

People are being asked to show they "believe" in children by sending Barnardo's a text message or by adding their names to a page on its website

"Some children's behaviour is unacceptable and it has to be challenged," said Barnardo's chief executive Martin Narey. "But we must not use that as an excuse to write off a generation."

Another BBC story which just reads like a press release for a special interest pressure group, this time Barnardo's. There is no attempt at critical analysis. First of all, all surveys are pretty meaningless and this one is typical. The question is black and white and is far too simplistic for any answer to be meaningful. And no matter what the result was, Barnardo's could have written their press release saying the same thing. Of course every special interest pressure group has to constantly complain that the world is at an end, and here that is made with the statement that "children have never been so widely dismissed", which is a ridiculous claim, made without any evidence to back it up. And then we are told that we should not "write off a generation". Well, hardly any kids are "troubled" (by any definition Barnardo's would care to use) so that hardly counts as an entire generation, even if some adults allegedly believe that this small minority is "beyond help". And no doubt if enough money was thrown at a kid, almost any kid, we would suddenly find they are not "beyond help", but the next leader of the Conservative Party.

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