Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oh B-rother ::: NAHJ To News Media: Stop Using the Term "Illegals" When Covering Immigration

My head hurt reading this one. Call the whaaambulance.

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - September 15, 2009) - As the heated debates over health care and immigration reform collide, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists calls on our nation's news media to stop using the dehumanizing term "illegals" as a noun to refer to undocumented immigrants.

NAHJ has long advocated for accurate terminology in news coverage of immigration. NAHJ is concerned with the increasing use of pejorative terms like "illegals" -- which is shorthand for "illegal aliens," another term NAHJ objects to using -- to describe the estimated 12 million undocumented people living in the United States.

Using "illegals" in this way is grammatically incorrect and crosses the line by dehumanizing and criminalizing the person, not the action they are purported to have committed. NAHJ calls on the media to never use "illegals" in headlines and in television news crawls.

"We continue to see 'illegals' used as a noun seeping from the fringes into the mainstream media, and in turn, into the mainstream political dialogue," said NAHJ Executive Director Iván Román. "Using these terms not only distorts the debate, but it takes away their identities as individuals and human beings. When journalists do that, it's that much easier to treat them unfairly and not give them an equal voice in the controversy."

By incessantly using metaphors like "illegals," the news media is not only appropriating the rhetoric used by people on a particular side of the issue, but also the implication of something criminal or worthy of suspicion. That helps to predetermine the credibility or respect given to one of the protagonists of this debate, which is not conducive to good journalism and does a disservice to the principles of fairness and neutrality.

In addition, NAHJ has always denounced the use of the degrading terms "alien" and "illegal alien" to describe undocumented immigrants because it casts them as adverse, strange beings, inhuman outsiders who come to the U.S. with questionable motivations. "Aliens" is a bureaucratic term that should be avoided unless used in a quote.

It goes on: NAHJ Urges News Media to Stop Using the Term "Illegals" When Covering Immigration

No comments:


:: Rebel Evolution ::

2005 Liberty Film Festival Short-Doc Nomination: :: Sealed For Your Protection ::

:: Boomerang ::

:: Fort Hood Documentary

Remembering A Massacre

:: Sarah Palin Rocks Texas

for Governor Perry

:: Texas Starts with T

The Tea Party in 12 Easy Minutes

Clips and Interviews

:: Governor Rick Perry:

On the Tea Party Movement, Senator Hutchison, and Debra Medina

:: Breitbart's Challenge to New Media:

Destroy Those Who Would Destroy You

:: Andrew Breitbart:

Time To Start Returning The Punches of the Bully Media

:: Rick Perry / Austin Tea Party

On Secession and "Right Wing Extremism"

:: Follow me on Twitter ::

:: Unspun with AnnaZ on BlogTalkRadio ::

:: Unspun podcast on iTunes ::