The Associated Press released new guidance for using the term “alt-right.” For starters, they have told their staff not to use the term “generically and without definition,” the AP said.
Vice President for Standards John Daniszewski blogged Nov. 28 about the new advice.
“The ‘alt-right’ or ‘alternative right’ is a name currently embraced by some white supremacists and white nationalists to refer to themselves and their ideology, which emphasizes preserving and protecting the white race in the United States in addition to, or over, other traditional conservative positions such as limited government, low taxes and strict law-and-order,” the Associated Press wrote. “The movement has been described as a mix of racism, white nationalism and populism.”
The term “alt-right” should be in quotes or referred to as self-described or so-called, Daniszewski wrote, but must include an explanation for readers such as “an offshoot of conservatism mixing racism, white nationalism and populism” or “a white nationalist movement.”
Daniszewski explained that “it is not well known and the term may exist primarily as a public-relations device to make its supporters’ actual beliefs less clear and more acceptable to a broader audience. In the past we have called such beliefs racist, neo-Nazi or white supremacist.”
As such, Daniszewski warned that the AP shouldn’t just use the names desired by “extreme groups” but also should describe what the extreme groups do and want using “evidence to support the characterization.”
iMediaEthics has written to the Associated Press to ask what sort of reaction it has seen to its new guidance.
In mid-November, the AP published an explanatory piece after Donald Trump’s appointed Steve Bannon as an adviser, noting that Breitbart, which Bannon ran until joining the Trump campaign, “appealed to the so-called ‘alt right.'”
Last week, Politico‘s Michael Hirsh resigned after publishing the address of white nationalist Richard B. Spencer, who the New York Times reported is “credited with coining the term alt-right.”
Spencer was also in the news last week because when CNN was discussing his comment questioning if Jewish people are “people at all, or instead soulless golem,” CNN put up a graphic on screen reading “Alt-right founder questions if Jews are people.” CNN apologized for its “poor judgment” in the wording of the graphic.
Hat Tip: Megan Duncan