Letter: The portrayal of gay rights in the media

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Sir: Peter Tatchell claims that gays are not represented in news programming. BBC News and Current Affairs regularly covers gay rights and issues on television and radio, but they are subject to the same kind of news prioritisation as any other story.

For example, Mr Tatchell claims that BBC TV News did not cover the Washington gay rights march last month. We did report the event that night, although earlier bulletins were dominated by the devastation caused by the City of London bomb, and a radio feature on the demonstration had to be dropped because of this major news story.

Newsnight and the Today programme have examined discrimination in the armed forces, both in Britain and the United States, and only yesterday BBC News returned to the issue of servicemen in the US military, presenting reports on programmes such as the Six O'clock News and Radio 4's The World at One.

In addition, Public Eye, BBC 2's current affairs programme, recently devoted an edition to the re-emergence of gay rights on to the political agenda, and Mr Tatchell may also be interested to know that Today has been nominated for the Mike Rhodes Award for the person or organisation that has done most to promote understanding of gay and lesbian issues.

We don't get it right all the time, but we are endeavouring to reflect the British community across a wide range of current affairs programmes.

Yours faithfully,



News and Current Affairs Radio


Editor, News Programmes

News and Current Affairs Television

BBC Television Centre

London, W12

14 May