THE BLOG

Raising Journalistic Standards: A Need for Ethical Integrity, Accuracy, and Humility at the BBC

24/04/2015 16:00 BST | Updated 23/06/2015 10:59 BST

The Guardian recently reported on the BBC's rejection of formal complaints that it violated the BBC's editorial standards including a commitment to uphold truth and accuracy in its airing of 'Rwanda's Untold Story.'

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/apr/10/bbc-rejects-complaint-rwanda-genocide-documentary

Unfortunately, the BBC has allowed itself to serve as a mouthpiece for what constitutes factually misleading, manipulative and mendacious journalism.

That the BBC continues to defend a program which is riddled with distortion of fact, prejudice, and discriminatory ideology against Rwanda's Tutsi minority is inexcusable.

The BBC's documentary denies the history of the Rwandan genocide. The BBC has made an error in airing it. It should have the integrity and humility to acknowledge this, apologize, and address the consequences and correct them to the extent possible.

Genocide denial is often subtle and insidious; but this makes it no less harmful and hateful.

The BBC is surely intelligent enough to discern the difference between well reasoned and substantiated critique of historical scholarship and outright falsification of history which has been roundly condemned by a diverse group of historians, researchers and individuals who have deep and intimate knowledge of the Rwandan genocide.

The British public, BBC audiences globally, and Rwanda's genocide survivors and Rwandans as a whole deserve better than the BBC's pleading ignorance of history and 'openness' to historical accounts that have no basis in fact.

Its stubborn refusal to acknowledge a serious error of judgement only increases the gravity of the injury the BBC has already caused to its audience, to Rwandans, and its own reputation and credibility.