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See above ITV News' February apology. (Credit: Twitter, screenshot)

The UK broadcast regulator OfCom found that UK’s ITV News was offensive in calling athletes “coloured” but didn’t “sanction” the network, the Guardian reported.

ITV’s Richard Pallot said, “‘Football has certainly come a long way since bananas were routinely thrown at coloured players…The Government are funding a scheme to promote more coloured coaches and are also tackling the issue of homophobia in the sport,” according to the Mail on Sunday.

As we wrote in February, the program was pre-taped and ITV News immediately apologized. The word made it to air because of “human error and editorial misjudgment,” the Mail on Sunday reported.  According to the OfCom report on the incident, ITV News didn’t try to “excuse the mistake being made” and said that the report was “reviewed prior to broadcast” but the term still made it through to broadcast.

OfCom noted that ITV apologized both on Twitter and to the media for the incident and unpublished the video segment in question, according to the Guardian.  Further, OfCom concluded that because ITV News said the word twice, which “likely” made it more offensive.

ITV News admitted its “editorial misjudgment,” “mistake” and “offence,” according to the Guardian.  Further, according to OfCom’s report on the incident, ITV News said “the incident will feature in future newsroom compliance training.”

Despite the “four official complaints,” OfCom didn’t take any action outside of a “reprimand,” according to the Mail on Sunday and the Guardian. The OfCom report concludes: “On balance, and in light of the steps taken by ITV to mitigate this offense, OfCom therefore considered the matter resolved.”  Those steps included ITV News’ multiple apologies, “directly” to some viewers and on air.

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OfCom’s guidelines call for news outlets to “ensure that material which may cause offense is justified by the context.”

See here the full OfCom report.

We have written to ITV News for more information and will update with any response.

Hat Tip: Ink Stained Wretch

UPDATED: 5/29/2012 1:31 PM EST: Added more info from the OfCom report

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UK Regulator: ITV News Use of ‘Coloured’ Offensive

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