After yesterday’s post about the use of language in reporting events in Gaza this week, I was about to write a follow-up post.
I was going to discuss the use of words like abducted, kidnapped and captured – mostly used to describe the Israeli soldier being held by Palestinian militants – and words like detained and arrested – mostly used to describe the Palestinian politicians being held by Israel. I was going to say that words used to describe Israel’s actions suggest legitimacy and lawfulness, while those used to describe the actions of Palestinian militants (or should that be terrorists?) suggest the opposite. Given that both actions appear to be, shall we say, extra-legal, I was going to question again how the BBC has used language to characterise the situation in a way that seems inappropriate for an organisation that strives for balanced objectivity.
Anyway, I happened to come across this entry in the BBC newseditorsblog, covering precisely the same topic from their own point of view, and I thought that actually I would just link to it. Even if the BBC don’t necessarily get the language right, at least it is clear that their editors understand the issue.
(I thought it particularly interesting that most commenters, so far, accuse the BBC of being biased against Israel, whereas my impression has always been – where I notice bias, that is – that it is in favour of Israel. Confusing, innit?)