Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When Words Matter Most

Posted By on Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 12:42 PM

We've used the term "illegal immigrant" at Weekly World Central before, and some of those abusive cretins who take the time to comment have informed us that "immigrant" is a joke, and "alien" is best.

This morning, a diversity blog from the Society of Professional Journalists brought it all home for me that the wrong word we've used all along isn't immigrant; perhaps a word is missing before illegal.

When we write about a crime that's taken place we always use the word suspect. Immigrants arrested because they are undocumented have yet to face a judge, and last time I checked, we still have a Constitution, despite the mob.

Enjoy the read here.

For those newswriters who insist on using the phrase “illegal immigrant” (or perhaps because it is a required, company policy); add the modifying adjective “suspected,” as “pro” journalists do when writing about arrestees or police suspects.

A fundamental legal principle in our American constitutional law is that everyone (including non-citizens) is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Consistent with that basic doctrine of law, journalists are urged to use the phrase “undocumented immigrant,” and avoid the denigrative phrases “illegal immigrant” or “illegal alien.”

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Mari Herreras

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Guided Tea Tasting

Guided Tea Tasting @ Seven Cups

Fridays, 3-3:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

James G. Davis (1931-2016): Down at the Tower Bar, A Retrospective

Celebrating the career of Tucson artist James G. Davis with a selection of paintings and prints made… More

@ Etherton Gallery Sat., Sept. 9, 7-10 p.m. and Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Nov. 11 135 S. Sixth Ave.

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Results-Based Funding: The Transition From Test Scores To School Grades (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Let's Listen To That Awesome New Calexico Single (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. The Weekly List: 24 Things To Do In Tucson This Week (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Better Late Than Never: 1968 Film Makes World Premiere (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Koch Brothers Infiltrate Pima County Schools With a High School Econ Course (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation