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Newsround marks 50th Anniversary

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Tim Davie, BBC Director-General: “Children want to understand events and the world around them. Newsround was a brilliant idea fifty years ago and it is just as relevant today – perhaps even more so in a world of misinformation.”

It was in 1972 that John Craven’s Newsround first aired, and it’s now the UK’s longest running news show for children.

The programme, which is now at MediaCityUK, is still based around Craven’s mantra of “keep it short, simple and interesting.”

According to the BBC, it’s watched by an estimated 2m children at least once a week in schools, and its website gets 850k unique browser visits every week.

John Craven’s Newsround was originally a more informal affair, with no newsdesk and Craven also coined the phrase “and finally” to end the show with a light-hearted news story.

Some of the other Newsround alumni include Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Julie Etchingham and Lizo Mzimba.

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“For 50 years Newsround has been an iconic part of Children’s TV and continues to inform, educate and entertain the children of today. We are so proud to see it reach this milestone and we look forward  to watching it flourish for the children of tomorrow,” added Patricia Hidalgo, Director of BBC Children’s.

As part of its anniversary celebrations, it will be bringing back the Newsround Press Pack Scheme, which originally ran in the 1980s. It offered young journalists a chance to join its team as a reporter and tell the stories that mattered to them.

The 2022 Press Pack Club will encourage “Newshounders” to write and produce articles for the website and film their own reports to appear in the bulletin.

A new BSL version of the show will air from this Spring. Each weekday the online bulletin will include a sign language interpreter. In the “near future” transcribed subtitles will also be introduced.

The Salford team has also commissioned a series of Newsround Specials.

In Empire and Me, presenter De-Graft Mensah will travel to Ghana as he discovers his heritage and roots. He’ll see the key places that were instrumental to the history of the British Empire and along the way, he’ll discover parts of Ghana that are still affected by the Empire and speak to children there about their experiences.

Our Queen, will look at the 70 year reign of the Queen through the eyes of children. This will be accompanied by interactive digital content on the reign of The Queen, for use by children both at school and at home.

On Newsround’s anniversary, CBBC and BBC iPlayer will air Let’s Talk About Sexism which sees presenter Lauren Layfield return on a mission to address the issue of sexism.

There will be a special extended Newsround bulletin on CBBC and iPlayer. As well as the day’s stories, it will include interviews with past and current presenters talking about what the show means to them.

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