The Right Call? Activists Forcing Sky News to Drop FGM Footage

The Right Call? Activists Forcing Sky News to Drop FGM Footage

Sky News doesn’t have the best reputation. It’s true. Now, the controversial broadcaster has come under pressure from activists to scrap the planned broadcast of a controversial film from Somalia later this week, depicting a young girl being subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM).

The clip, not linked here, is said to show a young, innocent Somalian girl being tied down and cut whilst bystanders stand and stare, doing nothing.

Many have objected to the clip, claiming that its recording is tantamount to child abuse. Leading the charge against the film is Daughters of Eve co-founder Leyla Hussein who heard about the potential of the clip being screened whilst visiting the channel for another interview.

Hussein said: “You can see her face. People are watching. The film crew are filming. No one intervenes … when I was cut I remember that most of all, no one intervened.”

Sky News have responded, saying they will show the footage to ‘…capture the stark reality of this widespread practice … [and] will help our viewers to understand the issues surrounding FGM and its social and cultural acceptability in some parts of the world.’ 

What does this decision by Sky News mean for their brand? Is it another blow to their reputation – a grab, or is it a decision that should be praised as it demonstrates a desire to push boundaries of what news broadcasting should be? We’d love to know what you think. Daniel Andrews, Managing Director at the tree takes a pragmatic approach:Sky News have a responsibility to report on the world “warts and all”, that is their brand and that is the reputation they must uphold.’ 

A contentious issue, but how do you think Sky News should play it?