A large pile of emails have landed in my inbox during the overfed, overdrunk, overexcited Christmas break, most probably because I don’t have a comments facility here, and many of them in response to this post about the BBC Africa service’s Africa Have Your Say. Among many interesting bits of information, these two stuck out the furthest. First, that the Ugandan Parliament was in recess at the time that the offensively titled/headlined programme was transmitted and would therefore not be debating homosexuality on the Friday as stated in the show after all. This just goes to show how little importance is given to attention to detail and fact-checking in certain parts of Bush House these days, and also contradicts the argument by some of the senior Beeb eds that the show had to run the week it did because it was to be debated that Friday. Secondly, a note from a former BBC stringer from the continent (I won’t mention the region or the stringer’s name for privacy reasons), who wrote to say how accurate she/he thought the post was and also to remind me about one Mr Chiam, a former stringer for the BBC Africa Service in The Gambia, who was arrested in 2006 during the aftermath of an alleged coup against President Jammeh. Chiam was severely tortured. And yet an internal BBC memo stated that Chiam’s arrest and torture had nothing to do with the Beeb, despite the fact the reporter was reporting for the BBC World Service. They’re an awfully supportive bunch at Bush, as you can see.
‘But who cares….these Beebs as you call them are a bunch of time wasters.’