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.
Read the full story here: uninews.us/12d6Baj
“Will the new guidance make it harder for writers? Perhaps just a bit at first. But while labels may be more facile, they are not accurate.”—The Associated Press’ reasoning (in a nutshell) for officially dropping the term “illegal immigrant” from the AP Stylebook on Tuesday. Official AP style now calls for writers to specifically state that a person(s) is living in a given location illegally, rather than referring to the person(s) themselves as being illegal. source
“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.”—
The Associated Press announced Thursday that it will no longer suggest the use of the term “illegal immigrant.”
At the Online News Association Conference held in September, 2012, journalist Jose Antonio Vargas asked media companies — specifically The New York Times and the Associated Press — to stop using the term. Watch his ONA12 keynote speech.
In response to AP’s decision Thursday, Antonio Vargas tweeted:
— Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting)
The New York Times Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan, wrote Thursday that The Times was also “reconsidering” the term.
The Times, for the past couple of months, has also been considering changes to its stylebook entry on this term and will probably announce them to staff members this week. (A stylebook is the definitive guide to usage, relied upon by writers and editors, for the purpose of consistency.)
From what I can gather, The Times’s changes will not be nearly as sweeping as The A.P.’s.
“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”—Associated Press President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt • In a letter, sent to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, denouncing the Justice Department’s decision to acquire the phone records of AP journalists as well as a number of the wire service’s offices over a two-month period. The move came as a result of a 2012 AP story which leaked the news of a foiled attack on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death. The move, which followed the Obama administration’s general policy of trying to shut down leaks, nonetheless was disowned by the White House. “We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. “Any questions about an ongoing criminal investigation should be directed to the Department of Justice.” The move has been condemned by many journalists.
“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.” We regard this action by the Department of Justice as a serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news.”—
Gary Pruitt, President and CEO of the Associated Press, in a letter (PDF) to US Attorney General Eric Holder.
The News, via the AP:
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for the Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.
In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
No subpoena may be issued to any member of the news media or for the telephone toll records of any member of the news media without the express authorization of the Attorney General… Failure to obtain the prior approval of the Attorney General may constitute grounds for an administrative reprimand or other appropriate disciplinary action.
So, evidently, Eric Holder gave his express authorization for monitoring of the Associated Press’ phone records. Besides the initial WTF, we wait to hear how this is spun to justify the intrusion.