Jun 30, 2006

They wouldn't call them terrorists

Now the BBC refuses to use the word "kidnap" in stories about Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Our credibility is undermined by the careless use of words which carry value judgements. Our job is to remain objective. By doing so, I hope we allow our audiences on radio and television to make their own assessment of the story. So we try to stick to the facts - civilians are "kidnapped", Cpl Shalit was "captured"; since troops don't usually make "arrests", the politicians were "detained". Doubtless some will disagree. But that's, in essence, the heart of the story - two competing narratives.
Ah! The horror of value judgments in the land of two competing narratives. Mustn't make that mistake.

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