21:52 GMT18 September 2020
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    The British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) has become embroiled in a scandal after the use of a racially insensitive term while reporting a story about a racist attack on a health worker last month.

    BBC executives will be deciding on the use of "racially insulting language" on the broadcast corporations news or current affairs shows, it was announced on Saturday.

    Editorial director Kamal Ahmed wrote to staff, informing them that any use of allegedly racist language will be first sent to the director of news, Fran Unsworth, who will decide if it is appropriate.

    "We have apologised for the report and for the distress it caused. I have received many emails and other messages from colleagues from across the organisation and wanted to say thank you for being so open and honest with me", Ahmed said.

    Mr Ahmed said that BBC director-general Tony Hall had pledged tp strengthen the BBC's guidance on offensive language.

    "In the meantime, all use of racially insulting language in news and current affairs will be a mandatory referral to the director of news, Fran Unsworth", he said.

    The news follows a controversy following the use of the 'N-word’ in a recent story which led to 18,500 complaints. Correspondent Fiona Lamdin used the term in July while quoting abuse levelled at an NHS worker in a racist attack in Bristol.

    ​The controversial broadcast aired on local programme Points West and the BBC News channel at the end of July reporting on an attack on a 21-year-old NHS worker in Bristol, who was left with a broken leg, nose and cheekbone after being hit by a car while walking home after a shift at Southmead Hospital.

    Miss Lamdin warned viewers they were about to hear "highly offensive language" prior to saying: "As the men ran away, they hurled racial abuse, calling him a n*****".

    Despite initially trying to defend the broadcast, Lord Hall apologised for the broadcast.

    Last Sunday, Lord Hall said that the corporation "now accepts that we should have taken a different approach at the time of broadcast and we are very sorry for that"

    "Every organisation should be able to acknowledge when it has made a mistake. We made one here", he added.

    The BBC issued its apology for "any distress" caused by the use of the ‘N-word’ on a separate program, which went out just days after the NHS news report.

    Historian Lucy Worsley said the offensive word during a BBC2’s American History’s Biggest Fibs while quoting John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated US President Abraham Lincoln.

    The BBC said it had "listened to audience concerns" and "re-edited the programme" on BBC iPlayer.

    "If we were making this programme today, we would not have included the word.’ The BBC said it was ‘sorry for any distress caused to any of our audience by language included in the programme".
    Tags:
    offensive content, Racism, BBC, BBC News
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