Our Drop The I-Word partner Hugo Balta, who heads the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, just dropped the news last night that the San Francisco Chronicle is dropping the i-word.
We are changing our style on illegal immigration/illegal immigrants to essentially match AP. Effective immediately, will no longer refer to individuals as illegal immigrants. The new stylebook entry:
Entering or residing in a country in violation of civil or criminal law. Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant.Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.
Except in direct quotations, do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegals or undocumented immigrant. This prohibition also applies to headlines.
Do not describe people as violating immigration laws without attribution.
Specify wherever possible how someone entered the country illegally and from where. Crossed the border? Overstayed a visa? What nationality?
People who were brought into the country as children should not be described as having immigrated illegally. For people granted a temporary right to remain in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, use temporary resident status, with details on the program lower in the story.
Balta wrote a great post at Seattle Times about the need to eliminate the slur, in which he announces that that media outlet decided to drop the word, too.
The Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times, Denver Post and other media followed the AP's lead in dropping the derogatory term...
We are so thankful that the SF Chronicle and Seattle Times are getting with the times and getting rid of such a politically charged, dehumanizing, and racially loaded word from its reporting on the lives and status of undocumented immigrants, who deserve so much better.