Image

12:13 PM / Sunday September 15, 2019

21 Aug 2011

An open letter from the National Association of Black Journalists to the BBC

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
August 21, 2011 Category: Stateside Posted by:

This letter is in response to the BBC’s news coverage of London riots over the last week.

 

Dear BBC:

 

The National Association of Black Journalists, the oldest and largest organization of black journalists, is disappointed to learn that the BBC, an organization long known for accuracy and impartiality, is failing to adhere to its own values.

 

Image

In the height of recent riots in Britain, the BBC simplistically asked on the global phone-in programWorld Have Your Say, “Is there a problem with young black men?”

 

In asking such a question, the BBC offended many in its global audience. The question infers that young black men were the only ones rioting and looting, which we find to be inflammatory. If that’s the case, we call on the BBC to provide the proof. We are struggling to understand this stunning lack of sensitivity because the BBC has a longstanding reputation of integrity, accuracy and impartiality with very clear editorial guidelines.

 

In another incident, the BBC allowed historian David Starkey, a guest on the Newsnight television program, to say that “whites have become blacks” in reference to the race of rioters. Even more disturbing, the Newsnight presenter did not challenge that bizarre assertion – on a program that regularly holds people accountable for their views. By allowing the comment to go unchallenged, was the BBC agreeing with the inference that becoming black is monolithically synonymous with being violent?

 

All of this in a week when a BBC presenter inaccurately said that veteran civil rights campaigner and broadcaster Darcus Howe had been involved in previous riots when in fact he was not and had to correct the presenter on-air.

 

Is this just a case of shocking incompetence or racism — as others have said? Why have black people in Britain not been afforded the same respect given to others? Why is the assumption that if something is negative pertaining to black people it is deemed acceptable by the BBC? What happened to the BBC’s duty to provide accurate and balance reporting? This raises the question of whether the BBC’s senior editorial ranks need better racial and philosophical diversity to avoid being blind to such insensitive incidents.

 

NABJ represents black journalists worldwide. We call on the BBC to return to practicing the type of journalism that has won it international acclaim. We will continue to monitor the BBC to ensure that its reporting about blacks lives up to its own values.

 

Sincerely,

Gregory H. Lee Jr.

NABJ President

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Entertainment

‘I was stupid’: Huffman sentenced to 14 days in prison for college scam

September 13, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email By COLLIN BINKLEY BOSTON (AP) — “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman was sentenced...

Commentary

To Be Equal: After Labor Day – Commit to raising full-time workers out of poverty

September 13, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email By Marc H. Morial TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM  “The strongest middle class the world has ever...

Color Of Money

Three emerging smart home trends of 2019

September 13, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT If you’re building a new home, you want it to be stylish,...

Health

Six keys to the best possible stroke recovery

September 13, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email Strokes change more than 795,000 lives in the United States each year.  In...

Travel

The Two Brown Crayons Tour

September 13, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Wilson Peak and the San Juan Mountains, Colorado  (Photo: Robert Cicchetti...

Go With The-Flo

Kerry Washington at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival for the premiere of her movie “American Son”

September 13, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Kerry Washington (Photo: Tinseltown / Shutterstock) By Florence Anthony According to...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff