BBC’s double standard terror terminology on view again

On the afternoon of February 21st the lead stories on BBC News website’s main homepage, World page and Middle East page were presented using the same headline:

“Israeli soldier gets 18 months for killing”

BBC News website homepage

BBC News website homepage

BBC News website 'World' page

BBC News website ‘World’ page

BBC News website 'Middle East' page

BBC News website ‘Middle East’ page

That headline failed to inform BBC audiences that the person killed was a terrorist and that information was likewise absent from the sub-heading on all three pages which told readers:

“Victim’s father calls sentence a “joke” in a case which split opinion in Israel on the use of force”

Although it is impossible to know how many of the people who read that headline clicked on the link to the article, those who did found a report which – in typical BBC style – refrains from using the terms terror, terrorist or terrorism in its portrayal of an Israel-related story. 

“An Israeli soldier who killed a wounded Palestinian attacker in a high-profile case that split opinion across the country has been jailed for 18 months.” [emphasis added]

In contrast, visitors to regional pages of the UK section of BBC News website on the same day did find such terminology used in the headlines and text of domestic stories.



Once again we see that the claims concerning “consistency” and “impartiality” made in the BBC’s editorial guidelines concerning ‘Language when Reporting Terrorism‘ do not hold water.

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BBC promotes political NGO in coverage of Azaria verdict


5 comments on “BBC’s double standard terror terminology on view again

  1. This item was also broadcast in the one o’clock news on BBC TV -1 today, though I did not hear it on BBC Breakfast this morning. The mere broadcasting of such a trivial item is in itself an example of a double standard as is the use of the ridiculous term “militant”, a term not used for Irish terrorists! The same broadcast said not a word about the fighting for West Mosul and how many casualties there are to date.

  2. Pingback: BBC and Sky News promote different headlines to English and Arabic speakers | BBC Watch

  3. Pingback: BBC avoidance of term ‘terrorist’ in Israel stories surfaces again | BBC Watch

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