The Toronto Star took a principled stand and departed from previous editorial policies by giving front-page prominence to the Jerusalem seminary attack by headlining and appropriately calling terror by its rightful name.
Read HonestReporting Canada’s latest alert entitled "Toronto Star Calls Terror By Its Name" by clicking below.
Toronto Star Calls Terror By Its Name
March 9, 2008
By: Mike Fegelman
Dear HonestReporting Canada subscriber:
Since our inception, we have called on the Canadian media to describe individuals whose intentional use of violence against civilians, done in order to achieve religious, political or ideological objectives, as terrorists. Instead, these individuals and their actions are labeled in the broadest political terms as militants, insurgents, activists, guerillas, and politicians.
But all too often, Canada?s media try to avoid using the ?terror? word. Either news organizations refuse to use the word at all, which strips meaning away from horrific events like this week?s massacre in a Jerusalem seminary which saw the deaths of eight students and more than a dozen wounded, including a 14-year-old Canadian citizen named Nadav Eliayahu Samuels.
Yet one Canadian news organization, the Toronto Star, took a principled stand and departed from previous editorial policies by giving front-page prominence to the seminary attack by headlining and appropriately calling terror by its rightful name.
In two subsequent reports by Mideast bureau chief Oakland Ross on Friday and Saturday, the Star used the ?terror? word and its variants a remarkable 10 times to describe the seminary shooting and past attacks inside Israel. Instead of using ‘safe’ language that deliberately minimizes the terrorist?s inhumane acts and appeases their very actions, the Star used the term consistently in headlines, lead and body paragraphs, in a conscious decision to avoid sanitizing language.
Likewise, the Star gave important column inches to Israeli ambassador to Canada, Alan Baker on Friday, one day after the attack to discuss ?The way of terror and the response? which included these choice quotes:
Echoing Mr. Baker?s remarks, Oakland Ross also commented on the linguistic minefield of Mideast reporting in Saturday?s edition noting the following:
In recent years, the Toronto Star has been heavily criticized for their reporting on Israel. As it appears to have turned a new leaf, the Star should be commended for calling terror by its name and encouraged to use the term consistently, as warranted in future coverage.
How You Can Make a Difference
Keeping in mind that what appears in the Canadian media today becomes Canadian foreign policy tomorrow, HonestReporting Canada encourages readers to commend the Toronto Star for using the word ?terror? to accurately describe the premeditated murders of innocents in Israel. Email a brief letter to: email@example.com
Pointers for contacting the Star: State your position clearly in your own words, remain rational and polite, and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us you took action. To be considered for publication, letters should include sender’s name and contact information for verification purposes.
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