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Monday, April 03, 2006

The media: A peek under the hood 
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is agitating to avoid using the term "illegal" in "illegal immigrant."

During my own brief (3-year) tenure as a Time, Inc. reporter (at the now defunct Mutual Funds magazine, to be specific), I was genuinely suprised to learn how many little journalist affiliation groups there were. I'd routinely get emails and letters from BEAT (Black Employees at Time), Asian groups, Gay and Lesbian journalist groups, etc. etc. But this is the first time I've seen one pushing to distort news coverage.

I have no problem with affiliation groups, when their goal is to improve recruiting outreach in minority or underrepresented communities, or to ensure that younger reporters have some access to mentorship, etc. I think they are a good thing.

But obviously, the members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists is motivated by concerns other than accurately covering the illegal immigration study.

There is no place in journalism for this kind of activism. This isn't disabled journalists asking for wheelchair accessible restrooms in the newsroom. It isn't even disabled journalists advocating the use of the term "speech-impaired" rather than "dumb" in the name of sensitivity.

This is an organization of journalists banding together with the intent of slanting the news.

You cannot meaningfully conflate illegal and legal immigration. The two phenomena are fundamentally different in kind, and call for very different policies. The attempt to blur the distinction between the two is intellectually dishonest, and benefits lawbreakers at the expense of the republic.

These people at NAHJ are not looking out for the reader.

The pursuit of truth is the prime directive of journalism. Apparently, the NAHJ has found something better to do.

Splash, out

Jason

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