Saturday, 7 January 2012

Imposing the party line

To give its due, the BBC has done a much better job of reporting the massacres of Nigerian Christians than other news media. Not that that's difficult; today the Daily Tottygraph thought I would be more interested in the revelation that Foxy Knoxy's ex has a new girlfriend. Frau Grumpy says if I want to read a proper newspaper why don't I give the FAZ a try.

Unfortunately today has provided evidence of the party line being laid down at the Beeb. This morning at 08:06 the latest report appeared under the admirably unambiguous headline:-

Nigeria Christians hit by fresh Islamist attacks

But by 18:26 the same story had been published again with a new headline:-

Nigerians flee Boko Haram sectarian attacks

Even in its earlier incarnation the story begins with an equivocal reference to "a 24-hour wave of violence apparently targeting Christian communities". Clearly it is too early to exclude the possibility that Nigeria's large Buddhist community is being targeted.

But the introduction of the weaselly use of the word "sectarian", familiar from the BBC's coverage of massacres of Christians in Egypt, represents a definite turn for the worse.

Update: on revisiting the Trivigraph I discover that it is important that I should know that somebody called Graham Norton has been burgled. Full marks to the Grauniad though, and the paper should also be complimented on this piece - yes, "sectarian tensions" here too, but once you get past that it's a good report.

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