Newsround hasn’t been axed – it’s changing as times and audiences change

Ricky Boleto, host of Newsround for the past 10 years, writes for RadioTimes.com on the latest changes being embraced by the long-running children's programme.

Newsround presenters, Hayley Hassall, Ricky Boleto and Leah Boleto

By Ricky Boleto, Newsround presenter

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NASA’s Challenger disaster, the death of Princess Diana and the Ariana Grande concert bombing. Just some of the big stories covered by BBC Newsround which launched almost 50 years ago.

So much has changed since John Craven first said, “Hello again” in 1972, especially  those brightly coloured jumpers! But the way we tell stories and how we reach our audience has shifted dramatically too.

In the 10 years I’ve presented Newsround a lot has happened. We’ve moved from BBC One to a dedicated channel for children. We introduced new bulletins throughout the day and our website has attracted a record number of clicks. 

Now, another change is about to happen as we try and keep up with our audiences ever changing viewing habits. 

Ofcom has given the BBC permission to reduce the number of hours we produce for TV each year. That means our afternoon update will disappear from the schedules as more children chose to get their news fix online. 

Now, for many adults who remember coming home and watching Newsround followed by Neighbours with a bag of crisps, hearing this news has brought back a lot of nostalgia. Judging by timelines, lots of parents are up in arms. But times have changed and we know how important it is to be where our audience is.

Newsround
CBBC

Reports in the press and on social media that Newsround has been axed are wide off the mark. The good news is our morning bulletin, which launched in 2002 on the CBBC Channel, will continue and has been extended to keep children up to date with what’s going on in their world. 

That bulletin is also available online and is used by teachers in schools all over the UK to spark debate amongst students and keep young people informed with world affairs. It’s estimated that during term time around 750,000 children watch our bulletin every single day. So that’s where our focus will be for now – and of course bringing even better content to our website as more children take control over the things they watch and the way they consume it. 

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Newsround will still be there to guide young people through some of the stories that are sometimes upsetting or complex, and of course, we will still be featuring a panda or two on our TV bulletin. Some things never change…

To see what’s on right now, check out our TV Guide.