BBC presenters told to call riots 'English' not ‘UK’
Published 11/08/2011 | 08:51
The BBC has instructed presenters to refer to "English" instead of "UK" riots in case they upset residents of other regions.
In its latest dictum on how to cover the unrest, the corporation said it was changing policy "in recognition of the sensitivities involved for people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland".
A BBC spokesman explained: "While the rioting and disturbances have been taking place in England, our initial approach was guided by the story's impact for the UK as a whole - for example, the UK Prime Minister returning from holiday and the decision to recall the UK Parliament.
"However, with the events confined to several cities and towns in England and not Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, we have listened to feedback from our audiences and are now referring to 'England riots' in our on-going coverage for absolute clarity."
The BBC was accused of political correctness earlier this week when it continually referred to violent looters as "protesters". Fran Unsworth, head of newsgathering, admitted yesterday that using the term was wrong and said journalists had been ordered to stop using it.
"I think it was probably okay on Saturday when the whole incident was started off by this peaceful protest against the killing of Mark Duggan in Tottenham but since then, no, I don't think that we should have been using the term 'protesters'.