How to Write Your Foreign Story

Many foreign news stories involve civil conflicts between rebels or separatists and the established government of the country. Below is a guide to the correct terminology and phraseology to use in such stories.

  If HMG supports the government of the country If HMG supports the opposition
The Government is…

(Whether elected / unelected)

The legitimate, internationally recognised UN member government, attempting to defend the population from terrorists The regime is illegitimate because it has used lethal force against its own people
The Government

(Whether elected / unelected)

Keep mentioning how popular the government is (as in he won 97% of the vote)

Keep mentioning how economically successful & well run the country is

Should always be referred to by the name of its leader as if the country is run by one omnipotent person
The Separatists / Rebels Terrorists Democrats
The Separatists Attempting to change the internationally recognised borders of the country Fighting for their legitimate right of self-determination according to Wilsonian principles
The Rebels Attempting to seize power by force Attempting to establish democracy (even if the government is already elected)
In the event of many civilian casualties The rebels are using ‘human shields’ The government is slaughtering its own people to stay in power
The International Community Should – Stop supporting terrorism or face the consequences Impose sanctions, especially an arms embargo on the government

Pour arms in to the freedom fighters

Impose a No Fly Zone on the government’s air force

Bomb the country

Now that you know how to get it right you are much more likely to get your story published.


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