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Militiamen, protestors, or neither? What to call Oregon’s armed occupiers

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Ammon Bundy, one of the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, arrives for an interview at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, near Burns, Ore. Law enforcement had yet to take any action Tuesday against a group numbering close to two dozen, led by Bundy and his brother, who are upset over federal land policy. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/AP
Ammon Bundy, one of the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, arrives for an interview at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, near Burns, Ore. Law enforcement had yet to take any action Tuesday against a group numbering close to two dozen, led by Bundy and his brother, who are upset over federal land policy. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Media organizations can't seem to agree on exactly what to call the men currently occupying a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon.

This weekend, armed men seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon.

The group calls themselves the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom. They gathered in protest Saturday to speak out against the sentencing of two ranchers recently convicted of arson.

The protest soon turned into an occupation. What they hope to accomplish by occupying the federal facility isn’t clear.

Since all this in Oregon began, writers and editors across the country have been hard at work trying to figure out exactly how to describe the group behind these events.

Are these armed Americans protesters? Militants? Or even terrorists?  Is what they are doing best called  a standoff, an occupation, or an insurrection?

Mike Ananny is a professor of communication and journalism at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism, where he specializes in media ethics and public culture. He shared his thoughts with Take Two.

Press the blue play button above to hear more.

BONUS: Did Mormon scripture inspire the Oregon occupation? Press the blue link under the play button to hear Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein weigh in.

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