On Monday 8th August 2011, during the height of major civil unrest, BBC World Have Your Say on the BBC World Service broadcast a phone-in debate on the England riots entitled "Is there a problem with young black men?".
The programme made a clear link between the England riots and the idea that the cause was due to a problem with young black men in general. It invited calls and comments from around the world to respond.
There is no editorial justification for the topic and the majority of comments on the World Have Your Say Facebook site reflect the dismay and shock that this subject has been deemed worthy of a respected international broadcaster.
The BBC's own editorial guidelines state:
"5.4.38. We aim to reflect fully and fairly all of the United Kingdom's people and cultures in our services. Content may reflect the prejudice and disadvantage which exist in societies worldwide but we should not perpetuate it. In some instances, references to disability, age, sexual orientation, faith, race, etc. may be relevant to portrayal. However, we should avoid careless or offensive stereotypical assumptions and people should only be described in such terms when editorially justified."
We the undersigned are writing to protest in the strongest terms the inflammatory and racist premise of the topic.
It is demeaning and irresponsible for a public broadcaster, which is funded by tax-payers of all backgrounds, to even pose the question.
We believe that what has occurred is a flagrant and unacceptable contravention of BBC editorial policy.
We are seeking a full public apology from the BBC and World Have Your Say.
The PUBLIC APOLOGY FROM BBC WORLD HAVE YOUR SAY petition to BBC was written by JGR and is in the category Media Issues at GoPetition.