NAHJ asks newsrooms to stop using the term ‘minority’
2020 is a year of many changes, including dropping the use of a term defined by oppression.
Newsrooms throughout the country are facing revolt and revolution. And justly so. When speaking about diversity, the organization led by hispanic journalists has something to say about defining terms in the world of media.
NAHJ, longform known as the National Association of Hispanic Journalists is the largest organization composed of Latinx journalists in the United States that is dedicated to receiving recognition and advancing Hispanics in the media industry.
In a press release by the organization, they asked to drop the use of “minority” to label people of color.
The national board will ask newsrooms to stop labeling POCs as ‘minorities.’ Accurate terms depend on the context or group that is being referred to; these could include communities of color, marginalized, underprivileged, or emerging majority when referencing statistics and data
— NAHJ (@NAHJ) August 4, 2020
“The term ‘minority’ should not be used any longer to refer to nonwhite groups,” the statement read.
They go on to explain that the Pe research center says that by 2055, the United States will not have a racial or ethnic majority group because the majority will be people of color over the white population.
The term ‘minority’ is used defined in the Britannica Encyclopedia as: “a culturally, ethnically, or racially distinct group that coexists with but is subordinate to a more dominant group. As the term is used in the social sciences, this subordinacy is the chief defining characteristic of a minority group. As such, minority status does not necessarily correlate to population.”
The press release adds that “the word “minority” has a connotation of “oppressed group.” The way it is utilized minimizes historically marginalized people and erases identities.”
NAHJ’s stance is that as times change, and hopefully evolve, news writing should as well.
On Twitter, some people were criticizing the statement because of the underlying racism that exists in Latinx media, which has never been addressed by the organization:
— BlackPressRadio (@BlackPressRadio) August 7, 2020
While this is a stride for the Latinx media community, more work needs to be done in order to have a significant impact.