No ‘lone wolf’: media urged to take care over terrorism vocabulary

#WordsMatter campaign says media should be careful not to ‘glamorise’ terrorism

Descriptions of terrorist attackers as a “lone wolf” or “mastermind” and nicknames such as “the Beatles” only glorifies them, say terrorism survivors who are launching a campaign to change the vocabulary around terrorism.

The #WordsMatter campaign appeals to media to usedispassionate language, and to avoid publishing images of terrorists in combat gear and using war terminology such as “soldier”, which serves to legitimise them.

In a series of short films to be broadcast on social media from Tuesday, survivors from attacks including London 7/7, the Manchester Arena bombing, Westminster Bridge, and the Bataclan nightclub attack in Paris, describe their personal experiences and how the media can be a help and hindrance.

The media and government do a fine job eliminating the truth about Islam’s role in terrorism, this should not be a leap for them. We all will be the poorer for it however.