According to a British newspaper, reporters will no longer be able to use the word “terror” to describe any terror attack unless they are quoting a source.
It appears that siding with terrorists over innocent victims is more important. According to the Daily Mail, the BBC will also demand that their reporters sanitise terms that describe acts of terror.
Instead, they will refer to terror attacks by naming only certain details, such as the location and the deaths. Journalists will be effectively banned from using the word “terror” in reports and they are already advised to steer clear of “terrorist” and “terrorism”.
It means that the BBC will no longer use the phrase “terror attack” to describe the incidents at London Bridge or Manchester Arena. These two mass attacks will be known as “bomb attacks” instead.
But MPs and experts accused the broadcaster of “failing in its public service duty”.
David Green, a former Home Office adviser and chief executive of the think tank Civitas, said: “If they don’t want to use that [the word terror] then they’re failing in their public service duty which is to be clear and accurate.
“I think there is a common usage, which has some recognition in law, which if you use attempted killing or injury to a political objective, then that’s terrorism.
“It would be misleading not to say that these are terrorist episodes if they are attempts to advance a political or ideological cause through violence.”
The new guideline instruct staff as follows: “Terrorism is a difficult and emotive subject with significant political overtones.” Presenters use the words “militant” or “jihadists” as substitutes.
BBC News editorial director Kamal Ahmed has defended the move, saying there is “no agreed definition of what a terrorist is”.
A senior news source told the Mail: “It boils down to that phrase, ‘One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter’”. But the New Oxford Dictionary of English is quite clear on the issue, stating that a “terrorist” is someone who uses “violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims”.
Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said however: “They are terrorists and these are terror attacks. The BBC should not try to sanitise the behaviour of terrorists by not calling it out.”