NEWS RELEASE: SPLC joins AAJA statement decrying racism during the COVID-19 pandemic


The Student Press Law Center has added its support to a statement from the Asian American Journalists Association denouncing anti-Asian racism during the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is no place for racist and inflammatory language or sentiments in the reporting or coverage of the current coronavirus pandemic. The Student Press Law Center is proud to stand with AAJA and all of our fellow co-signers, to denounce rhetoric or reporting which may amplify xenophobia or racism,” said Executive Director Hadar Harris. “We are proud of the thoughtful work that student journalists at both the high school and college levels are doing to provide accurate coverage of the impact of the pandemic in their local communities and schools.” 

In February, AAJA issued guidance urging news outlets to refrain from images and language that fuel xenophobia and racism. The organization said it is heartened to see comprehensive and thoughtful coverage from many news outlets, and is grateful for the hard-working journalists covering the outbreak and its impact on all communities. 

The AAJA statement continued: But harmful language persists, including repeated use of “China coronavirus” or “Chinese coronavirus” despite guidance by the World Health Organization discouraging the use of geographic locations when naming illnesses because it could stigmatize populations associated with those places. 

The full statement March 19 AAJA statement can be found here.