New Year’s resolutions for the media

Our colleagues over at CAMERA have compiled a list of 13 suggested New Year’s resolutions for the media in 2013.

Perhaps most relevant for the BBC is number three on the list:

3. Call terrorists “terrorists,” not “militants”.
Terrorism, defined by the U.S. Law Code, Title 22, Chapter 38, Paragraph 2656 f(d) and used in the State Department’s annual reports to Congress is “… premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents….” The Department of Defense definition recognizes that terrorism is a crime: “The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear, intended to coerce or intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious or ideological.” “Militant,” on the other hand, is undefined by American law and its consensus usage journalistically – militant unionist, militant environmentalist, militant vegetarian – is as an adjective. It suggests vehemence and persistence but not illegal violence. Farmers farm, lawyers practice law, and terrorists commit terrorism – they don’t advocate causes.

Read the rest here and tell us in the comments of any additional New Year’s resolutions you would like to suggest specifically for the BBC. 



11 comments on “New Year’s resolutions for the media

  1. Pingback: New Year’s resolutions for the media | Blogs about Israel aggregation

  2. 1. Have a regular appeal to report paedos by Kirsty Young at the end of Crimewatch.

    2. Interview ex Directors-General like Mark Thompson, Lord Birt and Alasdair Milne on Hardtalk.

    3. Resurrect “Points of View” as an audience participation show, with weekly topics, including “licence fee”, “the late Sir Jimmy Savile”, “bias” etc.

    4. Start a daily business programme in an attempt to compete with the excellent Jeff (ex-BBC) Randall Live on Sky News.

    5. Make “Watchdog” more consumer-friendly, with reports from licence fee payers who have successfully claimed compensation and television tax avoidance schemes.

    6. Impose a local language speaking fluency requirement for all foreign correspondents and regional editors, like Jeremy Bowen, John Donnison, Barbara Plett, Orla Guerin etc, etc.

  3. Won’t happen. To call “terrorists” terrorists rather than militants would betray the far left views of Israel that most of these ‘journalists” and the organizations they work for hold. Considering the # of Jews holding liberal/left political views, I still do not understand the far lefts anti-Israel/Jewish bias.

    As for the foreign journalists covering Israel/Palestine. Palestinian organizations routinely threaten bodily harm and death for anti-Palestinian coverage. The worst Israel does is deportation.

  4. Release the Balen Report.
    What Duvid said re that language requirement.
    Refer to “Islam’s prophet Mohammed” rather than to “the Prophet Mohammed”. The BBC would never dream of referring to “the Redeemer Jesus” would it!
    Stop slavering over a certain frequent and oh-so- welcome studio guest who’s on record as saying he’d dance in Trafalgar Square Iranian missiles hit Israel.

  5. Excellent 13 resolutions from Camera. The replacing of terrorist with militant is perhaps the finest example of the BBC’s mutilation of the English language in order to serve its apparent ideal of moral equivalence between good and evil.

    Quite a few years back on the old Biased-BBC blog we had a debate on the very subject. Nick Reynolds, then partly responsible for drawing up the BBC’s guidelines, joined in. Naturally, he was in denial mode about the BBC’s obfuscation of the hideous face of terrorism.

    Originally the guidelines stated that journalists should avoid labelling terrorists as such, but it was permissible to call the act terrorism. But soon the mention of the word became a rarity on the BBC as journalists and editors played safe. Worse than that, they began to mislead the public as, for example, when they would alter a quote from an Israeli spokesperson describing a suicide bombing and insert militant in place of terrorist .

    This is still current practice and it is of course both unprofessional and misleading and demonstrates the BBC’s contemptuous disregard for facts that interfere with its agenda.

  6. Good gracious, I hadn’t realised that the BBC actually alters the comments of Israeli spokespeople in the manner described by Too True! How duplicitous and utterly misleading.

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