Rant

They're Not Militants, They're Terrorists

19 Jan 2013 at 21:41

Why is it that the BBC calls terrorists militants? They may well be militants, but people who kill others for political aims and cause terror are also, without doubt, terrorists. I’ve never heard a convincing argument from the BBC as to why they insist of using a word most of their viewers would never use, and avoid using one that they would. The trouble is, this tendency has now filtered down to news agencies.

On my programme on Thursday we were covering the situation in Algeria as a breaking news story and at one point one of my tea brought in some Associated Press copy, which I then read out. It mentioned the word ‘militants’ three times in four paragraphs. I substituted it for ‘terrorists’ and then told my listeners what I had done. And I’ll continue doing it. I’d love to see some BBC News Channel presenters having the balls to do it too. But I’m not holding my breath.

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