2136) Associated Press, CNN & BBC Editors : "15 Kurdish Terrorists Dead NOT 15 Kurds Dead"

Contact : CNN Feedback
Contact : BBC News Feedback
Email Your Objection To AssociatedPress

Dear Sir/Madam:
The headlines of latest development in Turkey is not fair. . .

"15 Kurds dead in Turkey Clashes" should read "15 Kurdish Terrorists Dead in Turkey Clashes."

USA is suffering from terrorism and we cannot succeed against terrorists if we do not name them with their real identity first.

PKK is a terrorist organization according to State Depratment and we should name them as terrorists not rebels or ethnical monirity members.

Please be fair in your reporting.

Vural Cengiz
Sun Oct 28, 2007

Source: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SFLTURKS/

Response From BBC World . . 10/29/07
Hello and thank you for your email.

BBC World reflects the policy of BBC World Service, which over a considerable number years, has evolved, and constantly refined, standards of dispassionate and unemotive language.

The BBC regards the careful use of language as essential if we are to achieve the objectives set for us. Impartiality is a vital element of our reputation - together with the accuracy, speed and comprehensive nature of our coverage. In this care with language we differ greatly from large sections of the rest of the media around the world. Nowhere is the difference more apparent than in our treatment of the words 'terrorist' and 'terrorism'.

Our policy is straightforward. We acknowledge the existence of terrorism

- at this point in the 21st century we could hardly do otherwise. We don't change the word 'terrorist' or 'terrorism' when quoting other people, but at the core of the policy is the decision - taken several decades ago - not to label either people, groups or acts as 'terrorist'.

Rather we use unemotive language to describe as accurately as possible what action was taken, and what its results were; or the nature, aims or objectives are of the group or individuals involved.

In considering whether or not we should use the words 'terrorist' and 'terrorism' it's worth mentioning in the first place that there is no consensus on what constitutes a 'terrorist', or a 'terrorist attack'.

The list of comparisons is almost endless, and as our bulletins span the world, our viewers are likely to encompass every variety of opinion. In the second place, there are actions which are not quite so clearly terrorist, and the BBC should not be forced into the position of having to make value judgements in each instance.

We trust this helps explain our position, and we thank you for taking the time to write to us with your opinion on the matter, which we will pass on to our editorial team.

With regards
Heba Hassan
BBC World


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