BBC apologizes for provocative title of show discussing Uganda law, gay killings

Posted by JD Uy
December 17, 2009 7:31 PM |

''Should homosexuals face execution?
Yes, we accept it is a stark and disturbing question. But this is the reality behind an anti-homosexuality bill being debated on Friday by the Ugandan parliament which would see some homosexual offences punishable by death.''

Title and opening paragraph of a question posted to a BBC News site for a radio program called, ''Africa Have Your Say.'' The controversial headline alone and the idea that gay lives are up for debate disturbed many and infuriated some, and the BBC faced immediate criticism for their poor editorial decision. The program can be heard online, and it discusses the "Anti-Homosexuality Bill" that the government of Uganda is about to pass. (BBC)

''The original headline on our website was, in hindsight, too stark. We apologise for any offence it caused. But it's important that this does not detract from what is a crucial debate for Africans and the international community. The programme was a legitimate and responsible attempt to support a challenging discussion about proposed legislation that advocates the death penalty for those who undertake certain homosexual activities in Uganda - an important issue where the BBC can provide a platform for debate that otherwise would not exist across the continent and beyond.''

Peter Horocks, Director of BBC World News, recognizing that the British news organization caused the wrong type of reaction with the title to it's daily radio program "Africa Have Your Say." The program was titled: "Should Homosexuals Face Execution?" and many felt that the question itself was ridiculous, though not nearly as outrageous the anti-gay Uganda bill it was meant to discuss. (BBC)

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