“Report on Racism, But Ditch the Labels” by Keith Woods Comments

In the Code Switch article, “Opinion: Report on Racism, but Ditch the Labels”, Journalist Keith Woods discusses with a few colleagues the use of the word “racist” and when it’s appropriate to use it in a published article. He points out that no journalists were calling President Trump out when he tweeted that Mexicans were rapists and perverts after he had just been elected but now, since he attacked four congress women, news sources are up in arms. The question of whether this reaction was because it was aimed at specific people or because they specific people have a powerful office position was also posed. The main idea they wanted to get across to their audience was that it is not the responsibility of journalists to deem something as “racist”, but the responsibility of the public. Journalists only do the reporting of what the public say and how they react.

            I do agree with Woods that the term “racist” should hold some kind of standard when it is being used to report on something, so then actions would be judged in a way that is easy to stay consistent. I think that this whole article and NPR talk was honestly not a relatable subject for the audience, though. These days the word “racist” is used so casually. You hear kids say things like “That’s racist” to another kid who says he likes the black crayon more than the white crayon. Yet, when it comes to respectable journalism, the practice of using correct terminology is still important because people’s opinions are easily influenced by others’ words. I believe other candidates can be guilty of using “racist language” but the President is held to a higher standard, being an influence to literally all of America. The main thing I took away from this is article was that journalists report on the issue, quoting what the public believes but are also people too, who can make mistakes when there are no boundaries already set.


  1. fuglsang says

    This is a pretty good response, Kassidy. As with the other news comments (hurricanes and prisons) you want to respond to the writing of the story rather than their content. It’s OK to agree or disagree, but I’m more concerned here with discussion of the “story.” Was it objective? What news values does it reflect?

    One other thing: Your posts seem “upside down,” running from oldest to newest. It’s much easier if you have the newest post at the top. There’s probably a setting for this.