March 19, 2020
From the Board of Directors of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), with the support of the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS), National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), and NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists:
The Asian American Journalists Association, along with our fellow diversity associations, denounces the escalating violence and rhetoric aimed at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including journalists, amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In February, AAJA issued guidance urging news outlets to refrain from images and language that fuel xenophobia and racism. We are heartened to see comprehensive and thoughtful coverage from many news outlets, and are grateful for the hard-working journalists covering the outbreak and its impact on all communities.
But harmful language persists, including repeated use of "China coronavirus" or "Chinese coronavirus" despite guidance by the World Health Organization discouraging the use of geographic locations when naming illnesses because it could stigmatize populations associated with those places.
In this time of heightening tensions and fears, it is more important than ever that the media collectively gets it right so that we don’t give others, including politicians and the general public, an excuse to get it wrong. We also fully support and encourage journalists to continue to be vigilant in reporting the growing anti-Asian sentiment tied to the outbreak along with the rhetoric.
As always, we stand ready to be a resource to our members, fellow journalists, partners, and the public.
- Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA)
- Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS)
- National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)
- National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ)
- Native American Journalists Association (NAJA)
- NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists
- News Leaders Association (NLA)
- Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
- South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA)
- Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION Publishers)
- Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE)
- Online News Association (ONA)
- Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
- Chicago Headline Club (SPJ Chicago)
- ACES: The Society for Editing
- Student Press Law Center
*Organizations in italics denotes that they signed on to support after the statement's initial release.