Saturday 14 November 2015


Just as a reminder...

This is what the updated BBC Editorial Guidelines say about reporting terrorism (including not calling terrorists 'terrorists'):
We must report acts of terror quickly, accurately, fully and responsibly. Our credibility is undermined by the careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgements. The word "terrorist" itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding. We should try to avoid the term, without attribution. We should let other people characterise while we report the facts as we know them. 
We should not adopt other people's language as our own. It is also usually inappropriate to use words like "liberate", "court martial" or "execute" in the absence of a clear judicial process. We should convey to our audience the full consequences of the act by describing what happened. We should use words which specifically describe the perpetrator such as "bomber", "attacker", "gunman", "kidnapper", "insurgent, and "militant". Our responsibility is to remain objective and report in ways that enable our audiences to make their own assessments about who is doing what to whom.
The BBC's Europe correspondent Chris Morris certainly avoided using the word "terrorists" on tonight's PM, doggedly using "gunmen", "attackers" and "bomber" instead. 

He did, however, go against one of the BBC's guidelines here - the only one I actually agree with: namely the one which says 'It is also usually inappropriate to use words like "liberate", "court martial" or "execute" in the absence of a clear judicial process':
More than a thousand people were inside, about to watch a rock concert when four attackers - one of them reports suggest may have been a woman - strolled inside. There was chaos, carnage, systematic executions
People commandos stormed the building but not before at least 80 people were executed.
No, they were not executed. They were murdered by terrorists.

The BBC is seriously wrong-headed at times, and this kind of nonsense proves it.


  1. Good analysis - you gotchem! :)

  2. The other thing is .that the BBC will often refer to 'terror attacks'. Is that terror attacks carried out by terrorists, BBC? No, by radicals, extremists, gunmen etc, never by terrorists.


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