The L.A. Times Drops the I-Word

The “I-Word” as in Illegal 

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 Advocates asks other media outlets to do the same

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Pasadena, CA – The Los Angeles Times and the Denver Post are the latest newspapers in the United States to drop the i-word.  This follows other media outlets that have done the same, such as the Associated Press, USA Today, The Huffington Post, ABC News, NBC News, CNN,  La Opinion, Univision, and many more.
In making its style changes for covering immigration the Los Angeles Times stated:

The goal is to “provide relevance and context and to avoid labels.”  That means stories will no longer refer to individuals as “illegal immigrants” or “undocumented immigrants,” but instead will describe a person’s circumstances.

Do not use “illegal alien,” “an illegal” or “illegals” except in rare cases in direct quotes; they should not be used in headlines or other display type.

The follow statement can be attributed to Alex Nogales, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition:

“We are pleased that the Los Angeles Times has joined so many other responsible media outlets that have dropped the i-word.  In a city with 48% Latinos we did not expect less and we applaud the Times for its action.  The i-word has done a great disservice to the immigrant community by dehumanizing and criminalizing them.  It is unfortunate that the New York Times and the Washington Post have ignored the evidence and pleas from community advocates to do way with the i-word.  We plan to continue our advocacy to educate media as the LGBT community did when it asked the media to drop the damaging word homosexual.”

NHMC is a core member of the “Drop the i-Word” campaign led by Applied Research Center.  As part of this campaign, Alex Nogales has met with editors at the AP, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times to ask them to stop using “illegal” to refer to immigrants.
In 2012, NHMC commissioned a national poll that confirmed that media is hugely influential in shaping opinions about Latinos and others.  The poll found that in discussing those in this country without documentation, the term “illegal alien” elicited negative feelings and contributed to the negative opinions of the Latinos community.  The poll also found that more than 30% of non-Latinos incorrectly believe that the majority of Latinos are undocumented.
LA Times Graphic

About NHMC

The National Hispanic Media Coalition is a non-partisan, non-profit, media advocacy and civil rights organization established in 1986 in Los Angeles, California. Its mission is to educate and influence media corporations on the importance of including U.S. Latinos at all levels of employment. It augments the pool of Latino talent with it s professional development programs.  It challenges media that carelessly exploit negative Latino stereotypes. It scrutinizes and opines on media and telecommunications policy issues. Learn more at http://www.nhmc.org. Receive real-time updates on Facebook and on twitter @NHMC.

eesparza

Elia Esparza is a leading expert in communications and journalism targeting the burgeoning Hispanic market and has produced and written dozens of articles. President and CEO of Always Evolving PR and a Communications Specialist, Elia, incorporates her 18 years experience in the areas of entertainment and education public relations, and marketing. promotions, market research and translations (Eng/Span).