London riots: BBC criticised for branding thugs as ‘protesters’

The Telegraph: 

The BBC was criticised for its political correctness last night after continually referring to the yobs rioting across London as “protesters”.

A masked rioter is seen in front of a burning car in Hackney

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A masked rioter taunts police in front of a burning car in Hackney Photo: EPA

6:30AM BST 09 Aug 2011

Two days after a peaceful protest over the death of suspected gangster Mark Duggan in Tottenham ended, the corporation was still using the term to describe violent looters.

That was despite the fact that hundreds of youths, with no connection to events in Tottenham, had since run riot across the capital.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, and police have all condemned the youths as “criminals” whose behaviour is “utterly appalling”. Yet senior BBC presenters and reporters on the ground yesterday continued to describe those behind the violence as “protesters”.

The move sparked a wave of anger from members of the public on Twitter.

Duncan Barkes wrote on the micro-blogging website: “Hello BBC. They are not protesters, are they? Rioters better description. I mean, what’s the cause for the protest?”

Dee Modha said: “This hackney BBC reporter needs to stop calling them protesters. Thugs, hooligans and opportunists are better words.”

Jo Suherman added: “Wish the BBC would stop referring to rioters as ‘protesters’. For BBC protest synonymous with violence and looting.” User Soneni Nkomo accused the corporation of “political correctness”, while a user called Craig added: “The BBC are still calling these thugs protesters! The liberal elite cannot see that it’s pure criminality.”

The BBC was criticised in 2005 when it emerged that an edict was sent around to staff in the wake of the 7/7 terror attacks ordering them not to use the word “terrorist”. The guidelines on language said “the word ‘terrorist’ itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding”. The memo was sent within hours of the atrocities, which left 52 innocent people dead, by Helen Boaden, the head of news.

A spokesman for the corporation insisted last night that no guidance had been issued over what language should be used for coverage of the London riots. He said terms such as “riot” and “rioters” were also used.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

2 Replies to “London riots: BBC criticised for branding thugs as ‘protesters’”

  1. The rioters were out to destroy, loot and have fun, this is what rioters are always after no matter how the politically correct try and cover for them.

  2. Is anyone supprised at this? When has the BBC ever actualy been in any way truthful in any of its left wing reporting? Its a bit like the ABC in Australia, whatever they say, you generaly take the opposite view and you will generaly nail it perfectly as to what the truth actualy is. If you choose to believe the BBC or ABC or NBC or NRP or the other left wing media, then you deserve to be lied to.

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