Letter: Outing is out

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The BBC will continue to respect the privacy of individuals, recognising that any intrusions have to be justified by serving a greater good.

The BBC's position on this is clear and has been so for many years. We will not discuss or report the private lives of individuals unless broader public issues are raised, as they were with the resignation of Ron Davies. The BBC's Producer Guidelines go on to state that: "The mere fact that private behaviour is `in the public domain' (ie that someone else has reported it), is not in itself sufficient to justify the BBC reporting it too".

Last week two contributors to BBC programmes began to discuss the private life of an individual without there being any public interest involved. That was why we drew attention to the BBC's long-standing policy. Should a similar situation arise in the future, we would do so again.

PHILIP HARDING

Controller Editorial Policy

BBC

London W1

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