Current edition

Volume 34 Number 4, December 2023

Editor Kim Fletcher


This website offers a selection of BJR content past and present. Additionally, green links go to currently free-to-read articles on the Sage Publishing website


Editorial The fog of war

Not finally

Graham Majin explains liberal journalists

Mike White celebrates parliamentary sketches

James Hanning tackles sports writers

Ivor Gaber stands up for a free press


Zoe Broughton Taking demos viral

John Ryley Three things to improve media

Clare Jenkins Weep for your local paper…

Anon …and those who work there

Roy Greenslade The right takes down media

Glover, Greenslade, Kavanagh, Barnett Rupert Murdoch’s legacy

Mihir Bose Sport and race

Wendy Sloane Russia attacks women journalists

Jamie Wiseman Greece threatens media freedom


Lionel Barber probes the Barclay family

Phil Harding reveres Charles Wheeler

Trevor McDonald admires Clive Myrie

Henry Oliver stands up for George Orwell

Conrad Landin worries about PR men

Roy Greenslade explains a celebrated scoop


Quotes of the Quarter

The Cudlipp Award

The Wheeler Award

Acclaim for Bill Hagerty

X watch

The way we were


Cover photographs: Zoe Broughton

John Simpson @JohnSimpsonNews

Oct 10

British politicians know perfectly well why the BBC avoids the word ‘terrorist’, and over the years plenty of them have privately agreed with it. Calling someone a terrorist means you’re taking sides and ceasing to treat the situation with due impartiality. The BBC’s job is to place the facts before its audience and let them decide what they think, honestly and without ranting. That’s why, in Britain and throughout the world, nearly half a billion people watch, listen to and read us. There’s always someone who would like us to rant. Sorry, it’s not what we do.

PeterBale @PeterBale

Oct 10

Exactly. It concerns me to see politicians and even former BBC staff attacking the organisation on this point. There is also the critical issue of staff safety and access to places like Gaza. The terror is clear without the BBC reporter or presenter saying it.

Gerard Baker @gerardbaker

Oct 10

This says way more about the BBC than you think. No “taking sides” between people who deliberately target innocents for slaughter and a nation defending itself. That neutrality tells us more about moral and political judgments at the BBC than whether it uses the word “terrorist”.

steve hilton @SteveHiltonx

Oct 11

Honestly what the F is wrong with this pompous, soul-less, inhumane prick of a BBC “journalist” @JohnSimpsonNews Presumably he would have wanted us to not “take sides” against Hitler because that would upset “due impartiality.” No wonder nobody trusts establishment media.…

Alicia Kearns MP @aliciakearns

Oct 11

With respect, you’re not taking sides when they’re legally proscribed as terrorists. By law, they are terrorists.

David Aaronovitch @DAaronovitch

Oct 12

There are only so many times you can make the same point but here goes: the idea that by not describing Hamas goons as “terrorists” the BBC is somehow being partial towards Hamas is both ludicrous and actually dangerous. You only have to look at the reporting to see it’s false.

John Simpson @JohnSimpsonNews

Oct 18

I’ve come in for a lot of abuse, threats and taunts in the past few days, for defending and explaining the BBC’s standards. I’ve been yelled at in the street. But there’s one good thing — at times like this you do find out who your friends are. And aren’t.

S Sebag Montefiore @simonmontefiore

Oct 18

Its not just @BBC looks an ass refusing to say ‘terrorist’, its sad to see @John-SimpsonNews plead BBC rules & reliability when its reporting of Hamas atrocities wasn’t reliable, aiding deniers, & now Gaza hospital. If not for platforms X & whatsapp we wouldn’t hear the real news.