The BBC’s editorial guidelines on Language when Reporting Terrorism state:
As has been repeatedly documented on these pages, the BBC does not consistently adhere to those guidelines: avoidance of the word terror except in quotes is erratic and the use – or not – of the term is clearly often influenced by factors beyond the nature of the act itself.
On September 11th however, the BBC News website did produce a report which meets those editorial guidelines impeccably.
Readers of the report titled “9/11 anniversary: Services held 15 years on” found that the word terrorism appeared just once in a direct quote from the US president.
“We are still the America that looks out for one another, bound by our shared belief that I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper. In the face of terrorism, how we respond matters.”
Apart from that quote, the BBC managed to produce a report about coordinated acts of terror in which thousands of people were murdered without describing them as such in its own words. An organisation which is afraid to make a “value judgement” about such an event clearly has a very serious problem.
Continuing the mapping of BBC inconsistency in terrorism reporting
Continuing to map the BBC’s inconsistent use of the term ‘terror’