Before we get to the “Why?” part of the analysis, let’s continue on to the BBC’s lede and nut graf. Surely they conveyed the crucial information the world needed to know — right? Hmmmmm:
Neither the lede, nor the nut graf, nor the two subsequent paragraphs mention terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, the reason for the attack, that non-Muslims were targeted, nor any other of the truly germane facts about the incident.
Instead, a bizarre and inaccurate outlier quote about the attackers being “armed criminals” is highlighted. Why? There can be no other explanation other than the BBC is trying to obfuscate the facts.
Studies have shown that most news consumers only read the headline; the few that continue on to the body of the story only read the first paragraph or two. Only a small percentage of news consumers get further than that into the full text of the article. And it is this key detail that the BBC is relying on. They purposely suppress the crucial information from appearing in the headline, in the lede, and in the nut grafs, knowing full well that most people will stop reading after that point.
Right around this stage in the article the BBC changes gears, and having successfuly hidden the truth from the majority of its readers, it enters into what might be termed “cover our ass” mode, in which little by little, in inverse order of importance, they leak out the actual facts, so that if their deception is later noted and criticized, they can claim that they did reveal the truth, albeit later in the report.
Thus, the subsequent paragraphs once again fail to mention Islam or terrorism, but start flirting with the facts:
Here, we finally get the terms “Al Qaeda” and “Al-Shabab” and “Arabic,” but stop short of actually describing the ideology or motivation for the attack.
Then, predictably, there is a photo interrupting the narrative, which the BBC editors assume will drive away the few remaining readers, and only after this interruption, in the eighth paragraph, is the only important fact revealed:
In traditional news style, an article is supposed to be structured as a metaphorical “pyramid” of information, with the most important facts stated as concisely as possible at the very top, and with each sentence more details and more elaboration are added.
But in the postmodern BBC “biased reporting style guide,” the pyramid is intentionally inverted, such that the details you want to obscure are hidden so far down in the article that no one will notice them. The only reason to include these details at all is so that, if later criticized, you can truthfully claim that you reported “all the facts.”
The rest of the BBC article confirms this inverted structure, as much later they finally get around to mentioning the word “terrorism.”