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Reuters Admits Appeasing Terrorists

Reuters Admits Appeasing Terrorists

Reuters refusal to use the word 'terrorist' is due to intimidation from thugs and their supporters.


As Islamic terror continues to spread worldwide, one major news outlet decided that enough is enough ― it's time to call terrorism by its name. CanWest, owners of Canada's largest newspaper chain, recently implemented a new editorial policy to use the 'T-word' in reports on brutal terrorist acts and groups.

So when CanWest's National Post published a Reuters report on Sept. 14, they exercised their right to change this Reuters line that whitewashes Palestinian terror:

... the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which has been involved in a four-year-old revolt against Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank. (Jeffrey Heller, 9/13 'Sharon Faces Netanyahu Challenge')

to this, more accurate line:

... the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a terrorist group that has been involved in a four-year-old campaign of violence against Israel.

Reuters didn't like the adjustment, and took the unusual step of officially informing CanWest that if it intended to continue this practice, CanWest should remove Reuters' name from the byline. Why? The New York Times reported (emphasis added):

"Our editorial policy is that we don't use emotive words when labeling someone," said David A. Schlesinger, Reuters' global managing editor. "Any paper can change copy and do whatever they want. But if a paper wants to change our copy that way, we would be more comfortable if they remove the byline."

Mr. Schlesinger said he was concerned that changes like those made at CanWest could lead to "confusion" about what Reuters is reporting and possibly endanger its reporters in volatile areas or situations.

"My goal is to protect our reporters and protect our editorial integrity," he said.

[Schlesinger repeated this statement in a recent radio interview with CBC, when he described the 'serious consequences' if certain 'people in the Mideast' were to believe Reuters called such men 'terrorists.']

This is a stunning admission ―  Reuters' top international editor openly acknowledges that one of the main reasons his agency refuses to call terrorists 'terrorists' has nothing to do with editorial pursuit of objectivity, but rather is a response to intimidation from thugs and their supporters.

In every other news arena, western journalists pride themselves on bravely 'telling it as is,' regardless of their subjects' (potentially hostile) reactions. So why do editors at Reuters ― and, presumably, other news outlets ― bend over backwards to appease Islamic terrorists, using 'safe' language that deliberately minimizes their inhuman acts?

Scott Anderson, editor-in-chief of CanWest Publications, said that Reuters' policy 'undermine[s] journalistic principles,' and raised the key question: 'If you're couching language to protect people, are you telling the truth?'

An editorial in the Ottawa Citizen, one of CanWest's newspapers, spells out the issue in black and white:

Terrorism is a technical term. It describes a modus operandi, a tactic. We side with security professionals who define terrorism as the deliberate targeting of civilians in pursuit of a political goal. Those who bombed the nightclub in Bali were terrorists. Suicide bombers who strap explosives to their bodies and blow up people eating in a pizza parlour are terrorists. The men and women who took a school full of hostages in Beslan, Russia, and shot some of the children in the back as they tried to flee to safety were terrorists. We as journalists do not violate our impartiality by describing them as such.

Ironically, it is supposedly neutral terms like 'militant' that betray a bias, insofar as they have a sanitizing effect. Activists for various political causes can be 'militant,' but they don't take children hostage.

  *    *    *

The CanWest/Reuters affair is remarkably similar to CNN's Iraqi cover-up from last year, when CNN's top news executive admitted that CNN's knowledge of murder, torture, and planned assassinations in Saddam's Iraq was suppressed in order to maintain CNN's Baghdad bureau. We asked back then:

Now that this senior CNN executive has come clean, it leaves us wondering: In what other regions ruled by terrorist dictators do the media toe the party line so as to remain in good stead?

We now have our answer in the Palestinian region. Reuters admits to regulating its language to appease the terrorists ― and that's an open admission of pro-Palestinian bias.


(1) Send comments to Reuters:

(2) If your local paper uses Reuters wire stories for coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, bring Reuters' admission of non-objectivity to the attention of your local editor.

(3) Write a short letter to your local newspaper, citing Reuters' declaration that the goal of their soft language is to protect reporters, and recognizing the implication: Reuters is not providing unadulterated, independent coverage of stories like the Israeli-Arab conflict.

September 25, 2004

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 10

(10) Kathleen, August 22, 2006 12:00 AM

Reuters Photos

This is abomdiable. Doctored photo of war to enhance the war and try to put a spin on pictures of already horrible situations is just criminal. At the very least the leaders of Reuters should take the cameras from these photos. The Word does not need any more liars.........It is full of them

(9) Jimmy, February 8, 2005 12:00 AM

What he said, and what he meant...

"My goal is to protect our reporters...," Schlesinger said. I believe, however, his concern is not so much for the safety of his reporters as it is to be sure there's no interruption to his cashflow. After all, if he was as noble in his ideals as he makes himself out to be, wouldn't the sake of "editorial integrity" have enough regard for human life to not be pawns in the hands of such evil men (i.e. terrorists)?

(8) Anonymous, December 11, 2004 12:00 AM


Being an Indian, I agree with your view that an act of terrorism is one which involved "terrorizing" civilians towards achieving a political goal. What do you think has happened with Kashmir ? Pakistan one day woke up and said, I want a piece of this beautiful land, and promptly encouraged terrorists, training and sending them into India.
Somewhere, I also find it amazing that most of the wars / troubles in the world involve Moslems !!

(7) a human, October 8, 2004 12:00 AM


We are all humans.Not only Americans,Jews,Christians are humans but also Pelestinians,afghans,Iraqees,chechens and other depressed nations are also humanbeings.They are all freedomfighters

(6) Anonymous, October 4, 2004 12:00 AM

try to imagine

What, for example, if we beginn to use islamic logic(i mean judeo-christian societies) and shoot all journalistwho do not accept our point of view, or blew up the mosques through US and Europe and L. America. What do you think how Reuters will call us. Probably, jewish or christian fanatics-terorists.
Let me tell you something reuters, if that ever start to happaned, the name for these"jewish-christian" fanatics will not be terorists, but "insurgents", "freedom fighters", who want to free Western world from Islamic sillent occupation.
As we see western media stupidity do not knew end. Probably our spoiled society need couple of more bombs like Israel have tham every day, to wake up.
Let us be clear: Islam do not like us, but hate us. Islam use our weaknesses, and our freedom to come and preach thair religion. At the same time , no christian, jew, or any other do not have right to preach thair religion in most islamic countries.
My opinion- we need to give death blow to all islamic terrorist, and to make question islamic societies. Or you will live as civilized world or you should be wiped out from face of planet?
This is what i said hard, is it? That is exsacly what islamic fundamentalist want to do to us.
P. S. This is written from christian.
I dont want that some maniac who will read this, will think, that was written from some Jew and than come with old freaky theory about "jewish conspiracy".

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