SPJ Not Taking Position On Use Of ‘Illegal Immigrants’

Bradley J. Fikes Bradley J. Fikes

Rick Roberts incorrectly said yesterday (Wednesday, Dec. 29) that the Diversity Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists is demanding that journalists stop using the phrase “illegal immigrants” because it is offensive to Latinos.

Roberts is absolutely right that such an action would be ridiculous. However, the SPJ (on whose local board I sit), hasn’t taken such an action, either directly or through its Diversity Committee.

This article does not reflect the views of SPJ or its Diversity Committee

This article does not reflect the views of SPJ or its Diversity Committee

The article Roberts pointed to as evidence has since been amended to clarify that it is the opinion of one person, and does not reflect official SPJ policy. Here is the clarification:

“CLARIFICATION: The following article is an opinion piece and does not reflect the views of SPJ, its membership or its Diversity Committee. The committee itself has taken no official initiative on this topic.”

I hope someone will bring this to attention of Roberts so he can clarify this on his program. Again, I agree with Roberts that attempts to ban use of “illegal immigrants” constitute wrongheaded political correctness. But the SPJ hasn’t joined that ill-considered campaign.

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