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Published On: Wed, Jun 12th, 2013

BBC alters title, avoids use of ‘anti-Semitism’ noting the word length, critics ask about ‘Islamophobia’

The BBC recently reported the story of the Labor Lord who was suspended for claiming that Jews were responsible for his imprisonment after driving offenses.

Headline: “Labour peer Lord Ahmed suspended after ‘Jewish claims'”

photo Josh Janssen via Flickr

photo Josh Janssen via Flickr

Apparently the BBC chose not to use “anti-Semitism” and then claimed the decision was not about changing the tone of the story, but about length.

Instead of using “anti-Semitism”, the Beeb opted for “Jewish claims”, making the story seem like there were claims by Jewish people leading to Lord Ahmed’s suspension.

BBC: Thanks for your email and please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. We try and stick as closely as possible to the words used, so, in this case we  used ‘Jewish claims’ in the short space available for headlines to summarise his comments.

READER: Thanks for your reply, but with all due respect that is utter nonsense. ‘Jewish claims’ 13 characters. ‘Antisemitism’ 12 characters. Plus one look at the space available in the headline within the URL will tell you that there is/was PLENTY of space to report factually.

The article offered another challenge for the BBC:

Even more oddly, Islamophobia is also 12 characters yet the BBC has no trouble fitting it into every conceivable manner of headline including, “Islamophobia ‘explosion’ in UK”, “‘Islamophobia’ rises after 11 September”, “UK press ‘fuels Islamophobia”, “Islamophobia ‘just getting worse’”, “Terror jury Islamophobia warning” and finally “Islamophobia since Islam began”.

The word magicians at the BBC appear to have contrived ways to fit Islamophobia’s 12 character bulk into a headline, but can’t figure out how to get anti-Semitism in there.

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news for Examiner, starting and writing for several different websites including the diverse blognews site Desk of Brian. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

Displaying 12 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. […] BBC alters title, avoids use of 'anti-Semitism' noting the word length …  […]

  2. […] It seems the phrase “Jewish claims” was used instead of “anti-Semitism” because the BBC determined it was shorter and fit better in the headline space, an American commentator explained. […]

  3. eva says:

    the agonizing irony of it all…George Orwell in Politics and the English Language said “Never use a long word when a short word will do”!
    what will the “short word” for anti-semitism be?
    and so on….

  4. […] of ‘anti-Semitism’ noting the word length, critics ask about ‘Islamophobia,’” from Global Dispatch, June […]

  5. […] It seems “Jewish claims” was used instead of “anti-Semitism” because the BBC determined it was shorter and fit better in the headline space, an American commentator explained. […]

  6. […] It seems “Jewish claims” was used instead of “anti-Semitism” because the BBC determined it was shorter and fit better in the headline space, an American commentator explained. […]

  7. […] It seems “Jewish claims” was used instead of “anti-Semitism” because the BBC determined it was shorter and fit better in the headline space, an American commentator explained. […]

  8. […] It seems “Jewish claims” was used instead of “anti-Semitism” because the BBC determined it was shorter and fit better in the headline space, an American commentator explained. […]

  9. […] of ‘anti-Semitism’ noting the word length, critics ask about ‘Islamophobia,’” from Global Dispatch, June […]

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