Friday, November 07, 2014

07-Nov-14: In reporting terror, what the perpetrators and their victims are called is part of the war

Shalom Badani, the "17-year-old man" in today's Haaretz
report suffered mortal injuries in a terrorist attack  on waiting passenger
at a Jerusalem Light Rail station on Route 1 near the Shimon Hatzadik
neighborhood [Image Source]
From a report in today's Haaretz about the second victim of Wednesday's murderous terror attack at a Jerusalem tram stop
"A 17-year-old man who was wounded in a vehicular terror attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday died of his wounds early on Friday..."
And in a previous Haaretz
"20-year-old youth held for questioning after attacking police"
There's probably some reasonable media rule-of-thumb at work here that jaundiced observers like us stubbornly refuse to see. For instance, when calls 17 year old rock throwers "boys". When three Israeli seminary students aged 16, 19 and 16 are termed "settlers". And when three Palestinian Arab males, aged 21, 20 and 20, are repeatedly described as "youths".

On the other hand, those of us deeply irritated by the way news editors often spin an entire report via the judicious choice of specific words can't help suspecting there might be a little something on display here about agenda-driven reporting and editing.

No comments: