World

BBC: Don’t Call Paris Attackers ‘Terrorists,’ Because That’s A ‘Loaded Word’

Alex Griswold Media Reporter

In an interview with the UK paper The Independent, the head executive of BBC Arabic Tarik Kafala said that he had instructed reporters not to call the Charlie Hebdo attackers “terrorists” because it was too much of a “loaded word.”

“We try to avoid describing anyone as a terrorist or an act as being terrorist,” Kafala said, “What we try to do is to say that ‘two men killed 12 people in an attack on the office of a satirical magazine’. That’s enough, we know what that means and what it is.” (VIDEO: Krauthammer: Obama Refusal To Say ‘Radical Islam’ An ‘Absurd Word Game’)

“Terrorism is such a loaded word. The UN has been struggling for more than a decade to define the word and they can’t. It is very difficult to. Clearly, all the officials and commentators are using the word ‘terrorist’, so obviously we do broadcast that.”

In the same interview, Kafala said that the network showed the post-massacre Charlie Hebdo cover featuring the Prophet Mohammad… but not in “full frame or real detail… We’re trying to minimise the insult while telling the story,” he explained. (VIDEO: MSNBC Guest: ‘We Have To Respect Islam’)

Although Kafala was speaking about BBC Arabic in particular, his remarks align with the BBC’s editorial guidelines: “The value judgements frequently implicit in the use of the words ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorist group’ can create inconsistency in their use or, to audiences, raise doubts about our impartiality.  It may be better to talk about an apparent act of terror or terrorism than label individuals or a group.”

[h/t The Independent]

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