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AP Drops ‘Illegal Immigrant’ From Its Stylebook

From ABC News/Univision [sic]:

Associated Press Drops ‘Illegal Immigrant’ From Stylebook


The Associated Press, the largest news-gathering outlet in the world, will no longer use the term "illegal immigrant."

The news came in the form of a blog entry authored by Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll on Tuesday afternoon, explaining that the decision is part of the company’s on-going attempt to rid their Stylebook of labels.

"The Stylebook no longer sanctions the term ‘illegal immigrant’ or the use of ‘illegal’ to describe a person. Instead, it tells users that ‘illegal’ should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally," Carroll wrote.

So does this standard to other actions? Or will the AP continue to refer to "conservatives" and even "gays"?

The company’s decision comes after years of controversy over the term. Fusion, the ABC-Univision joint venture, does not use "illegal immigrant" because we believe it dehumanizes those it describes and we find it to be linguistically inaccurate.

This is the left redefining another term. Which means that soon calling someone an illegal alien will be a hate crime. And being an illegal alien will be a civil right, if it isn’t one already.

And never mind that, as ABC News itself reported last week: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano… said she didn’t "really get caught up in the vocabulary wars. They are immigrants who are here illegally, that’s an illegal immigrant," she said. "There are immigrants who are here without documents, that’s an undocumented immigrant."

[M]ost of America’s top college newspapers and major TV networks, including ABC, NBC and CNN, have vowed to stop using the term. Nearly half of Latino voters polled last year in a Fox News Latino survey said that they find the term "illegal immigrant" offensive. A coalition of linguists also came together last year to pressure media companies to drop "illegal immigrant," calling it "neither neutral nor accurate."

And some critics of the term, like journalist Maria Hinojosa, argue that those newsrooms that have continued to classify people as "illegal" lack diversity.

How perfectly Orwellian.

Last fall, the AP said they would restrict the usage of "illegal immigrant" to certain circumstances due to the complexity of the immigration experience…

So if they are in this country illegally, can you use the term?

Kathleen Carroll also noted in the Tuesday blog post that the AP prefers to label "behavior" rather than "people," writing that instead of using the term "schizophrenic," the AP now prefers saying that one is "diagnosed with schizophrenia."

"And that discussion about labeling people, instead of behavior, led us back to ‘illegal immigrant’ again. We concluded that to be consistent, we needed to change our guidance," Carroll wrote. "So we have." …

Again, homosexuality is a behavior, is it not?

New York Times, it’s your move.

Remember, this is supposed to be a ‘news’ article, not an editorial. But ABC/Univision has this update:

UPDATED — On Tuesday afternoon, The New York Times said that they are also currently considering revisions to their guidelines for using the term "illegal immigrant."

But if the New York Times is going to stop describing people by their actions, how are they going to continue their relentless obsession on "gays"? And what are they going to do for content?

"Coincidentally, we had been expecting to send a memo to the staff soon, possibly this week," Phil Corbett, the Associate Managing Editor for Standards wrote in an email.

Public editor Margaret Sullivan noted in a blog post that their changes "will probably be more incremental" than the AP announcement but aim to "provide more nuance and options." She also noted that while she once came down on the side of "illegal immigrant" her stance has since shifted.

She has evolved!

"My position on this has changed over the past several months. So many people find it offensive to refer to a person with an adjective like ‘illegal’ that I now favor the use of ‘undocumented’ or ‘unauthorized’ as alternatives," she wrote.


This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “AP Drops ‘Illegal Immigrant’ From Its Stylebook”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    That’s nothing.

    They contorted the term “Employee” into “worker” back in the mid 80s and no one noticed

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