MIND YOUR LANGUAGE

OK, so it’s not the lead story and indeed one has to click across from the main newspage to even see it. I refer to the item curiously entitled “UK Muslim guilty of planning attack”. Mmmm – a tad innocuous but curiosity got the better of me so I went over and discovered that the actual story is that several Muslims have been convicted of planning mass murder over the Atlantic. So, “Jihad horror averted” might have been more accurate, or perhaps “Muslim plot to murder hundreds of British people”……but I guess “UK Muslim guilty of planning attack” fits the bill for the BBC.

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16 Responses to MIND YOUR LANGUAGE

  1. Bob says:

    oh yes, highly pro-islam

    straws and grasping at them come to mind

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  2. Gosh says:

    err….. looks pretty acurate.  Right below it is ‘muslim hotel row dismissed’ which you say is good sense, so did they get at least one right?

    Besides why aren’t you raving about the NI block grant being left untouched, your silence is deafening =-O

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  3. Wally Greeninker says:

    ‘Attack’ is a rather vague and understated way of describing a planned operation to commit mass, indiscriminate murder. It could have meant he’d been found guilty of preparing some criminally libellous pamphlet. Has the BBC ever discussed why so many Muslims seeem to act as though the death of a kuffar is never a matter of any great importance.
    Heaven forbid that their sacred and semi-sacred texts should leave the devotee with just such an impression.

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  4. Bob says:

    How about ‘deadly terror attack’ – better?

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  5. Bob says:

    Oh and wait a minute what’s this on the front page in ‘features’

    Terror plot: ‘How a British teenager agreed to plan murders

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  6. George R says:

    Looking at the BBC headline, it avoids the explanatory

    identifying words –

    ‘Muslim’and ‘Jihad’, and instead uses the word ‘Briton’ as the BBC

    generalised, evasive  word:

    “Briton guilty of plotting deadly terror attack”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8404551.stm

    ‘Muslim’, ‘Islam’, Jihad’ are short enough words for the BBC  to use

    in this headline. But that’s not the issue here; the issue is about

    how the BBC politically shields Islam in its biased use of e.g. the

    wording of its headlines.

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    • Bob says:

      it shields Islam by starting the article with:

      ‘A British muslim has been convicted of conspiring to murder civilians in a deadly terror attack…’

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      • deegee says:

        It’s a generally accepted principle of editing that many people only read the headlines. A misleading, bland headline as this can effectively ‘hide in plain view’.

        Nevertheless the body of the article is extraordinary for the BBC both in its language: frequent direct reference to Islam, Muslim, Jihad and Terror/Terrorist and by the positioning of these keywords in the first paragraph. Standard BBC technique, if circumstances compel a mention, is to place these words right at the end of the article. Many readers having crossed the headline barrier read only the introductory paragragh. Search engines will cover the first sentence, if at all.

        My intuition is that the unnamed journalist who wrote was a cadet or intern. The court round is generally considered a boring entry position. When the horrified subeditor realised the gist of the article he or she did their best to obscure it with a bland headline. Said cadet/intern was quietly carpetted about the way the BBC does things OR will shortly be told that he or she did not meet the BBC’s standards and would not continue there.

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        • Bob says:

          that’s some nice analysis and then you go and blow it by using assumption in your allegation of bias, so even if they’re not biased it’s ‘oh they would have been biased’ – my intuition is that someone fairly high up would have at least been checking UK main headline stories

          and does no one look at the pictures?

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          • deegee says:

            by using assumption in your allegation of bias,

            What gave me away? Was it the words My my intuition is? This is a blog not an academic paper. Guesses, assumptions, prior knowledge, common wisdom are all accepted currency.

            Yes, how about that. How does one read the smiling, jug eared kid who went to school in east London? Journalists generally do not pick the photographs that illustrate their work. That too is the job of the subeditor. Could it be (being careful not to make assumptions) that the photograph was included to humanise the three ‘foreign-looking’ terrorists in the top picture? They were ‘British’ children, once.

            and does no one look at the pictures

            that’s some nice analysis and then you go and blow it
            Do I score a B+, teach? πŸ™‚
            It is always problematic to make judgements on the basis of one example. However, in the case of the BBC there is a clear pattern of manipulating language, layout and graphics to promote the agenda. Still the BBC is a mega organization and sometimes a piece goes through that runs counter to corporate culture.
            This one is probably as good an example an exception slipping through as any. The straightforward language complete with the normally forbidden ‘M’, ‘I’ and ‘T’ words, so contrasts with bland headline that I would have assumed another person wrote it even had I not known that journalists, especially junior journalists, don’t usually write headlines. That is the job of the sub-editor.

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            • deegee says:

              No matter what I do the comment posts backwards. You should start with that’s some nice analysis and then you go and blow it and then read from the top. The big paragraph spacing is also unintended.

              The pictures I was discussing are linked below.

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              • Bob says:

                You can of course do say what you want – but it does little to convince me when you claim the ‘M I and T’ words are normally forbidden without a shred of proof – unfortunately I spend way to long looking at these articles (thanks to this site), and know that such words are often mentioned – I can’t say I know the figures, but then no one else has ever produced any either – surely to say it’s an exception without any evidence, or even a widely-held opinion, is a fairly pointless claim?

                And mug shots such as those are pretty common when they talk about terrorist trials, I’ve seen them so many times it could be the same picture of generic bearded terrorists brought out every time

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                • deegee says:

                  One of the standard complaints against the BBC is precisely that they ignore the Islamic background to terrorist or criminal actions wherever possible – ‘M’,’I’ and ‘J’ words. This would not be bias except that when a Christian or a Jew is accused of something they don’t forget to emphasise it. It isn’t restricted to religion. The BBC customarily fails to mention the party affiliation of Democrats or NuLabor when a scandal breaks but never fails to remind the reader when a Republican or a Tory is involved. Ed West from the Telegraph is far from alone in noting it.  
                   
                  This isn’t formal policy however. Another frequent complaint that is policy is the restriction on the use of the ‘T’ word – terrorism, ostensibly because it is judgemental preferring instead ‘militant’. This is most objectional when an Israeli or Indian official actually uses the word terrorist and the BBC reports X said that militants were responsible. 
                   
                  In both cases the proof is years of following the BBC. If you were to stay around a bit longer or explore the B-BBC archives you will find tens of examples usually accompanied by links to other publications who didn’t shy away from pointing out the obvious.   
                       
                   Actually use of mug shots is fairly uncommon for the BBC.  
                  They did not use them for Demjanjuk , Amanda Knox, Karadzic. I suspect this is an editorial rather than a ideological decision to use other photographs where available. But as you bring the subject up you still haven’t explained why a schoolboy photograph of Adam Khatib illustrates the report.  

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  7. George R says:

    Bob

    As usual, you avoid discussing the isssue referred to here which is the BBC’s calculated avoidance of using headlines which are critical of Islam.

     This is a key device the BBC uses to habitually shield Islam.

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    • Bob says:

      so ‘muslim found guilty’ would have been better?

      To be honest all I can do is disagree as it’s opinion on what is appropriate – I wouldn’t place religion over nationality (particularly where it’s important in terrorism cases to know whether home-grown or pakistani etc) – I wouldn’t say ‘christian/atheist/jew found guilty’ and it’s made abundantly clear in every article on this (it’s the third word…) of the religious/jihad motives – there were even pictures on the front page which made it fairly clear if you ask me

      secondly I find it hard to believe that anybody is tricked into not realising they are talking about an islamic extremist, even if they only see the headline – there aren’t many other groups who get associated with ‘terror’ and trying to blow up planes – it could’ve been absolutely anyone I guess…

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  8. George R says:

    The fact remains that the BBC studiously avoids the use of the words ‘Muslim’, ‘Islam’ and ‘Jihad’ in relation to its headlines on e.g. suicide bombers and plotters.

    This the journalistic politics of  ‘multiculturalistm’ at the BBC.

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