Sunday, 7 October 2007

Toddler targets BNP members

Most have probably heard of the story reported late on Friday about BNP members being targeted by terrorists, but it's how the BBC reported it that deserves further comment.

Its headline was 'Boy in court . . .'
The opening sentence: "A British teenager who is accused of possessing material for terrorist purposes has appeared in court.

The Huddersfield Examiner wasn't much better with its "Teen targets BNP members . ."

'Boy' and 'Teen' could be considered strange words to use in the headlines of a report of someone facing two charges under the Terrorism Act 2000, one relating to the possession of material for terrorist purposes and the other to the collection or possession of information useful in the preparation of an act of terrorism.

But the words will have been specifically selected by the respective news editors to soften the implications of the story in an attempt to trivialise the seriousness of the offence. This is because the 'victims' in this case are members of the British National Party and under no circumstances does the National Union of Journalists allow the BNP to gain victim status.

The 17 year-old in court can by no stretch of the imagination be called 'a boy' and given it is reported elsewhere that he has dual Pakistani nationality, in the eyes of most British people he wouldn't be considered your run-of-the-mill 'British' teenager.

The correct headline should, of course, have been 'Pakistani terrorist targets BNP members'.

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