I meant to mention this last night before I got caught up in Muskie-mania.
Newsflash! NPR Changes Abortion Language.
National Public Radio ombudsman Alicia Shepard wrote this week about a “lively debate” among NPR editors concerning the use of the terms “pro-choice” and “pro-life.”
The result? This memo “distributed to all NPR staff.”
NPR News is revising the terms we use to describe people and groups involved in the abortion debate.
This updated policy is aimed at ensuring the words we speak and write are as clear, consistent and neutral as possible. This is important given that written text is such an integral part of our work.
On the air, we should use “abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)” and “abortion rights opponent(s)” or derivations thereof (for example: “advocates of abortion rights”). It is acceptable to use the phrase “anti-abortion”, but do not use the term “pro-abortion rights”.
Digital News will continue to use the AP style book for online content, which mirrors the revised NPR policy.
Do not use “pro-life” and “pro-choice” in copy except when used in the name of a group. Of course, when the terms are used in an actuality they should remain.” [An actuality is a clip of tape of someone talking. So if a source uses those terms, NPR will not edit them out.]
Wait a second.
It is acceptable to use the phrase “anti-abortion”, but do not use the term “pro-abortion rights”.
Are you kidding me? How is that “as clear, consistent and neutral as possible”?
If NPR wanted to put a Kiss Me, I’m Liberal sticker on itself, it couldn’t have done a better job.
The hardworking staff at Campaign Outsider will momentarily be forwarding this post to NPR ombud Alicia Shepard to ask the following:
Would NPR editors please have a lively debate about how in the hell they expect to appear unbiased when they make decisions like this?
Thank you in advance.