Wednesday, October 18, 2006

BBC and Terrorists

I happened to be browsing the BBC Editor's blog when I came across an entry from Simon Wilson. It is talking about a new style guide created for BBC journalists covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One of the entries discusses the use of the term "terrorist". The BBC guidelines, it seems, demand that the word terrorist never be used:

The word "terrorist" itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding. We should try to avoid the term, without attribution.
That would explain why in this article the BBC referred to Islamic Jihad as a militant organisation and paraphrased an army spokesman, adding in the word "militant" where the spokesman probably used "terrorist".

However, can the BBC explain why they are happy to call Maoist rebels in Bengal "terrorists" in this article?
An army spokesman said the cache of arms was meant for Maoist rebels and other terrorist groups active in and around eastern West Bengal state.
It seems that only Islamic terrorists must be called militants.