Many of the posts on this blog are examples of the Corporate Media lying by omission, hiding the race of the perpetrator when he is black, or of the victim when he is white.
Here, I would like to quote Sincerity.net, who points out that such conduct is contrary to the Corporate Media’s own guidelines. To paraphrase:
August 11, 1946: The [New York] Times introduced an editorial change announcing they will no longer refer to the race of persons suspected of a crime unless race is relevant to the story.
As a matter of fact, The New York Times has consistently violated its own guidelines since then, by drawing attention to the race of the perpetrator ONLY when he is white. Here are some examples cited by Sincerity.net:
If we were to expand this list, to include more current examples, this post would be long indeed!
The German Press Council Stylebook is more explicit:
REPORTS ON CRIMES When reporting crimes, it is not permissible to refer to the suspect‘s religious, ethnic or other minority membership unless this information can be justified as being relevant to the readers‘ understanding of the incident. In particular, it must be borne in mind that such references could stir up prejudices against minorities. [GUIDELINE 12.1. by the German Press Council ].
Sincerity.net goes on to explain that…
German PresseKodex 12.1 was meant to protect Black US soldiers from “discrimination” and “prejudice” due to media reports about crime committed by Blacks 5 * 6
Sincerity.net quotes the Associated Press Stylebook:
Race Identification by race or ethnicity is pertinent: […]
—For suspects sought by the police or missing person cases using police or other credible, detailed descriptions. Such descriptions apply for all races. The racial reference should be removed when the individual is apprehended or found. [Associated Press. The Associated Press Stylebook 2015 (p. 225). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.]
Readers of this blog are already aware of the extreme lengths the Associated Press takes to violate the above directive, following it only to the benefit of non-white suspects.
The Reuters Hand Book contains more elaborate guidelines:
- Mention race or ethnicity only when relevant to the understanding of a story. For example, if someone is facing deportation, it is appropriate to give his or her nationality. Similarly, the ethnic origin of a person who receives racial threats or is the target of a racist attack is essential context. Terms of mixed ethnicity take a hyphen: Italian-American.
- Take care when reporting crimes and court cases. The race of an accused person is not usually relevant.
- Clearly, race is an important factor in stories about racial controversy or immigration, or where an issue cuts across racial lines. For example, if European-born people join Tibetan exiles in demonstrations against China’s Tibet policy, this is a point worth mentioning.
- Race is pertinent in reporting a feat or appointment unusual for a person of a particular ethnic group, for example, someone born in China who becomes an international cricket umpire.
The Society of Professional Journalists has this to say:
Race: A person’s race should not be mentioned unless relevant. This also applies to references to ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion. Derogatory terms or slurs aimed at members of a racial or ethnic group may not be used unless having a direct bearing on the news, and then only with the approval of the senior editor in charge. Avoid stereotypes. Race and ethnicity may be relevant in some stories, including the following: Crime stories – A highly detailed description of a suspect sought by police can contain [skin color]. Be sure the description is properly attributed. Do not use descriptions that include only a few items or are vague, such as tall, dark clothes. [A detailed description might include a person’s complexion, facial features, distinguishing marks or tattoos, etc.]
The Nationals Association of Black Journalists has these guidelines:
Ethnicity, race: The mention of a person’s race should not be used unless relevant. This also applies to references to ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion. Derogatory terms or slurs aimed at members of a racial or ethnic group may not be used unless having a direct bearing on the news, and then only with the approval of the senior editor in charge. Avoid stereotypes. Race and ethnicity may be relevant in some stories, including the following:
- Crime stories – A highly detailed description of a suspect sought by police can contain race. Be sure the description is properly attributed. Do not use descriptions that include only a few items or are vague, such as tall, dark clothes.
- forced busing: Avoid because of possible negative connotations. Busing is sufficient.
Sincerity.net informs us that Canada is very much on board with this double standard. He quotes The Globe’s Stylebook:
We must be especially scrupulous about avoiding irrelevant references in stories about criminal charges or other matters in which identifying a person’s race or national origin may unfairly associate an entire group with criminal or antisocial activity.
None of the above organizations has followed its own stated guidelines. Instead, they have followed a different, unwritten, guideline:
Present the story in such a way that non-whites, especially blacks, are portrayed as positively as possible. Do the opposite for whites.
In the future, as you read this blog, and come across examples of media dishonesty, consider revisiting this post, and ask yourself if the “news outlet” in question is being faithful to its own stated guidelines.