The following is an archived copy of a message sent to the CASI Analysis List run by Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq (CASI).

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[casi-analysis] (Fwd) BBC Information [T2005011300P6S010Z430207]

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I received this worrying email recently from the BBC. I will
obviously reply.

When I get the time, I will write to the BBC to complain about their
biased coverage about the elections in Iraq.

Some time before the elections I sent the following email to because I guessed how they might report this issue. I
hadn't realised how over the top they would actually be!

***** start

I am concerned that the BBC has taken to quotes such as "these are
Iraq's first free and democratic elections" Sometimes you say "for
half a century", sometimes you say "in the country's history".

It is bad enough when you serve as a mouthpiece for Bush or Blair
saying this (without the BBC attempting to get a different view point
in order to provide balance).Far worse is when a newsreader says

Could you please assure me that you will stop this biased reporting?

Thank you.

***** end

Institute for War & Peace Reporting

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:              Mon, 31 Jan 2005 08:59:24 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:                BBC Information [T2005011300P6S010Z430207]
Copies to:

Dear Mr Parkinson

Thank you for your e-mail regarding the use of terminology used on
news reports from Iraq.

There are times where it is felt that in order to remain impartial,
independent and accurate that terms such as insurgent, militant and
rebel are more appropriate to describe action by armed groups in Iraq
against coalition forces and the Iraqi people.  It is not known how
much support or lack of support there is from the Iraqi population
these armed groups, who are often a mix of Iraqis and foreign
fighters.  Using the term 'resistance fighter' could inadvertently
give the impression to Iraqis and the viewers at home, that these
fighters have a justification for carrying out the bombings and
killings that are indiscriminant and often lead to the deaths of

The use of the neutral language in no way takes away from the impact
of a news report, when reporting on the deaths or attacks against the
coalition forces and the Iraqi people.  The BBC insures visually and
in it's wording of reports that such action, has been at a terrible
cost to victims, their families and the ability of the Iraqi people
be self-sufficient.

The BBC's sole aim in it's reporting, is to ensure that viewers and
listeners can make their own judgements on how these armed groups
carry out their activities.  Full in the knowledge that it often
with a high price to life and property.

Thank you again for your e-mail.


Tony Brown
BBC Information
__________________________________________________ - World Wide Wonderland

-----Original Message-----
>Why does the BBC so rigorously avoid using the term 'resistance
>fighter'? (Iraq)
>Surely this is more accurate and less pejorative than 'insurgent' or
>militant, rebel, terrorist etc?
>Has the order gone out to BBC News teams?

This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain
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------- End of forwarded message -------
Mark Parkinson

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