BBC director general Lord Tony Hall has apologised and said the broadcaster made a mistake, after a news report containing a racial slur was shown last month.
The N-word was used in full in a report by social affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin about a racially aggravated attack in Bristol, aired by Points West and the BBC News Channel on 29 July.
The BBC initially defended the use of the slur after more than 18,600 complaints were made.
Lord Hall said the corporation “accepts that we should have taken a different approach at the time of broadcast”, adding that it would be “strengthening our guidance on offensive language”.
Yesterday BBC 1Xtra radio presenter Sideman resigned over the use of the term, saying it felt like “a slap in the face to our community”.
In a statement aired by the broadcaster, Lord Hall said: “We are proud of the BBC’s values of inclusion and respect, and have reflected long and hard on what people have had to say about the use of the N-word and all racist language both inside and outside the organisation.”
“It should be clear that the BBC’s intention was to highlight an alleged racist attack. This is important journalism which the BBC should be reporting on and we will continue to do so.
“Yet despite these good intentions, I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.”
The broadcaster is in the middle of a major restructuring, cutting more than 700 jobs across its London and Salford bases.