Saturday, December 20, 2014

20-Dec-14: BBC, unable to call him "terrorist", says French police killed an "Allahu Akbar attacker"

The police station in Joue-les-Tours today [Image Source]
Via Reuters tonight:
French police on Saturday shot dead a male terrorism suspect after he stabbed and seriously wounded two officers in a police station, authorities said. A spokeswoman for the Indre-et-Loire prefecture in central France said the man was killed after he attacked the policemen with a knife in a station in Joue-les-Tours, a suburb of the city of Tours. The counter-terrorism section of the Public Prosecutor's office has opened a probe for "attempted murder and criminal conspiracy in connection with a terrorist organization", the Paris Prosecutor's office said, without giving further details. According to the website of the French daily Le Figaro, the man could be "an Islamist known by the French DGSI intelligence service for his radical positions".
The BBC, chronically unable to deploy the word "terrorist", has a uniquely-BBC approach to reporting this attack, under the headline "'Allahu Akbar' attacker shot by French police". The only mention of "terror" comes when they write "Anti-terrorism investigators were now working at the scene..."  

The BBC has a formal policy document [here] that explains their rules. Extract:
Use of Language | 11.4.5 We must report acts of terror quickly, accurately, fully and responsibly. Terrorism is a difficult and emotive subject with significant political overtones and care is required in the use of language that carries value judgements.  We try to avoid the use of the term "terrorist" without attribution. When we do use the term we should strive to do so with consistency in the stories we report across all our services and in a way that does not undermine our reputation for objectivity and accuracy. The word "terrorist" itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding... We should not adopt other people's language as our own; 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." [BBC Editorial Guideline: Language when Reporting Terrorism]
And so on. Most of the time, they stick to it, except when they don't.

A quick glance at the French news media shows they, for the most part, have less difficulty in saying bluntly who and what the news is about (example: Joué-lès-Tours : un islamiste abattu dans un commissariat après avoir agressé deux policiers).

1 comment:

Empress Trudy said...

The BBC's policy is simple and clear "Only Jews should be killed"