The British Broadcasting Corporation has apologized for using and defending a racist term in its reporting, calling it “a mistake”.
CEO Tony Hall apologized for using the word n during a report of a serious attack in Bristol. The use drew more than 18,600 complaints, including complaints from politicians and BBC staff.
BBC Radio 1Xtra BBC Sideman left the station for that matter.
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“Action and action protection feels like a slap in the face to our community,” DJ Sideman, real name David Whitely, said in a statement.
The BBC initially defended the use of the word, saying the organization felt the need to “explain and report, not only the injuries, but, given their supposedly extreme nature, the words allegedly used” during an attack on a workshop of the NHS.
Larry Madowo, the US correspondent for the BBC World Service, said he had not previously been allowed to use the term in an article when quoting an African-American, but mocked the BBC for defending the action because it was “editorially justified”.
However, the organization later admitted that the use of the word was offensive.
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Hall acknowledged that the use of the term racist caused “concern” among his viewers and vowed that the BBC would “strengthen” the guidelines for offensive language.
“This is important journalism that the BBC should report on and we will continue to do so,” Hall said. “However, despite these good intentions, I acknowledge that we have ended up creating concerns among many people.”
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“The BBC acknowledges that we should have had a different approach at the time of the broadcast and we are very sorry about that. We will now be strengthening our offensive language guidelines throughout our outcome.”