Associated Press offers new guidance to media on 'racially charged' vs 'racist'

The Associated Press on Friday offered new guidance to media organizations that write about issues of race and racism.

The AP Stylebook is now discouraging publications from using euphemisms for “racist,” like “racially charged” or “racially tinged.”

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“Do not use racially charged or similar terms as euphemisms for racist or racism when the latter terms are truly applicable,” the new entry reads. “If racist is not the appropriate term, give careful thought to how best to describe the situation. Alternatives include racially divisive, racially sensitive, or in some cases, simply racial.”

The change was announced at the ACES: The Society for Editing’s annual conference.

Many news publications have been criticized for using phrases like “racially charged” to describe racist incidents or political issues.

The AP is also discouraging the use of hyphens in terms like “African American” and “Asian American.”