Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

New Book Guides Journalists in Reporting of Homosexual Issues
CNSNEWS.com ^ | 8/29/02 | Jessica Cantelon

Posted on 08/29/2002 4:38:45 AM PDT by kattracks

(CNSNews.com) - News reporters will soon have access to a newly revamped stylebook to guide them in their coverage of homosexual-related stories. But critics charge that the stylebook's suggested avoidance of such terms as "lifestyle" and "sexual preference" is no way to encourage fair and accurate reporting.

"What we're trying to do is be an accurate and precise reference work on sexual orientation and gender identity," explained Chuck Small, the leader of the 10-member National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) Stylebook Task Force and deputy news editor at The News and Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

NLGJA, a 12-year-old, 1,100-member organization, released the online version of its 2002 Stylebook Supplement Tuesday, and plans a hard-copy distribution at the association's upcoming annual convention in September.

This is the "first major overhaul" of the stylebook since the original version was released in 1997, according to Small. Since then, NLGJA's mission has "expanded to be more inclusive of bisexual and transgender folk, and so the new stylebook supplement intended as well to reflect that mission."

The NLGJA hopes the new version will be used to complement leading stylebooks already being utilized by the news media.

The eight-page guide is an "authoritative resource" that "brings accurate and indispensable knowledge about the identities and current expressions that fairly characterize gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people," said Pamela Strother, NLGJA's executive director.

"In the past, you would see terms like 'admitted homosexual' [and] 'roommate' to describe gays and lesbians, which we believe is biased and not fair coverage," Strother said. "Our terminology helps journalists understand what would be most accurate and fair terminology."

Included among the 50-plus entries in the glossary is a definition for lifestyle: "an inaccurate term sometimes used to describe the lives of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. Avoid." Similarly, the guide advises journalists to avoid the use of the term "sexual preference" and instead use "sexual orientation."

"Ex-gay," the guide states, is "the movement, mostly rooted in conservative religions, that aims to change the sexual attraction of individuals from same-sex to opposite-sex."

In addition, "gay civil rights," "equal rights" and "gay rights" are all acceptable alternatives to "special rights," which the stylebook describes as the "politically charged term used by opponents of civil rights for gay people."

"Basically, we think that the purpose of having a supplement like this is to provide journalists - because we're journalists as well - [with] as much accurate, precise information as possible," Small said.

However, Reed Irvine, chairman of Accuracy in Media, questions NLGJA's claim to "accuracy and fairness," citing several items that he says were conveniently left out of the stylebook.

Missing among the 50-plus glossary entries, Irvine pointed out, were terms like "fisting," "golden showers," and "bare-backing."

"These are things that they do, which, I guess [they] prefer not to talk about in public," Irvine said.

And "conspicuously absent" from the almost 40 relevant Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) organizations listed in the stylebook, Irvine added, is the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). "I expect the people in NAMBLA might feel hurt being omitted from this distinguished list," Irvine said.

"Quite frankly, it was never brought up," said Small when asked why NAMBLA was left off the list. He said "a whole bunch of groups" were added when the guide was updated, but NAMBLA was not one of them.

Strother said there have been "sweeping changes" in the media's portrayal of homosexuals, and attributes much of it to the use of the stylebook. Because the revamped stylebook is only currently available online, it is difficult to estimate the number of journalists using it, Strother said. However, she added that the guide has been "very useful to the industry."

"New copy editors [are] coming in from college and they've never been exposed to gay and lesbian issues," Strother continued. "So this is great for training new copy editors [and] new reporters."

E-mail a news tip to Jessica Cantelon.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.

 



TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
May any other group give this type of advice to the media as to what words and phrases are deemed exceptable? If so, the Republicans should jump on the bandwagon with a "stylebook" of their own.
1 posted on 08/29/2002 4:38:45 AM PDT by kattracks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

Guess the term sodomite is out...
2 posted on 08/29/2002 4:44:36 AM PDT by fone
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
How about "prissy," "fruit loop," "cupcake," "butt pirate" or the good old reliable "fag"?!?
3 posted on 08/29/2002 4:53:24 AM PDT by TonyRo76
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TonyRo76
You forgot "pillow biter" and "colon comrade".
4 posted on 08/29/2002 4:54:34 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
I'm thinking Ann Coulter should put together a listing off all the acceptable names for the conservative right and send it off to all news outlets.
5 posted on 08/29/2002 5:07:33 AM PDT by Damocles
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
Recently, I absorbed quite a lot of abuse from another writer for failing to bend to the prescriptions of another "stylebook," Simon and Schuster's Handbook For Writers, which exhorts writers not to use "he", "his," and "him" in their time-honored generic, gender-free fashion. Obviously, the prelates of political correctness and their auxiliary language police are not done with us yet.

Yet for a Virginia couple to travel to Manhattan to have sex in Saint Patrick's Cathedral during Mass, on the Feast of the Assumption, no less, is considered appropriate, defensible self-expression. (Read more about both incidents here.) Sigh.

Freedom, Wealth, and Peace,
Francis W. Porretto
Visit The Palace Of Reason: http://palaceofreason.com

6 posted on 08/29/2002 5:18:25 AM PDT by fporretto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
No doubt this book will be full of euphemisms for otherwise dispicable homosexual acts!
7 posted on 08/29/2002 5:23:29 AM PDT by Destructor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
i have no idea what bare backing means...but heterosexuals have been very kind to homosexuals by using such terms as RIMMING (when we could have accurately and fairly said swirling ones tongue around the anal spinchtor muscle of another)...graciously saying golden SHOWER (when we could have fairly, accurately said peeing on someone)...saying FISTING (when we should have accurately and fairly said putting ones clenched hand into an unclean canal[?] of someone else)...i believe that the colloquial terms have been more than accurate, fair and by the way...factual and kind..this FILTHY activity continues while heterosexuals continue to get 90% of the bill for aids and hiv...much of which results from this sort of BEHAVIOR
8 posted on 08/29/2002 5:52:19 AM PDT by gPal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: TonyRo76
Poofter? Rump Ranger?
9 posted on 08/29/2002 5:57:07 AM PDT by humblegunner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: gPal
graciously saying golden SHOWER (when we could have fairly, accurately said peeing on someone)...

Yes, they're very fond of playing with each other's bodily fluids. This gives rise to a whole slew of terms like fudgepacker, stoolstuffer, pooper-shooter, etc.

10 posted on 08/29/2002 6:04:48 AM PDT by TonyRo76
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
"Ex-gay," the guide states, is "the movement, mostly rooted in conservative religions, ...

Gratuitous 'Slander' heads-up...

11 posted on 08/29/2002 6:30:57 AM PDT by martin gibson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
"In addition, "gay civil rights," "equal rights" and "gay rights" are all acceptable alternatives to "special rights," which the stylebook describes as the "politically charged term used by opponents of civil rights for gay people." ...

ANOTHER gratuitous 'Slander' heads-up...

12 posted on 08/29/2002 6:34:09 AM PDT by martin gibson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
Similarly, the guide advises journalists to avoid the use of the term "sexual preference" and instead use "sexual orientation."

Oh, that's right. They have no control over their preference, right?

Michael M. Bates: My Side of the Swamp

13 posted on 08/29/2002 6:38:36 AM PDT by mikeb704
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

The Journalistic Stylebook of Homosexuality

The Current Stylebook Supplement of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association notes that the words ‘dyke,’ ‘fag,’ ‘faggot,’ and ‘queer,’ are “now being reclaimed,” by some homosexuals but advises that the words are “still considered offensive when used as an epithet.”

Absent from the supplement is a primary definition for ‘heterosexual.’

(SOURCE: The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association)

Is the homosexual stylebook a tool for journalism or a tool for homosexual advocacy? Vote now in the CNSNews.com Viewer Poll.

14 posted on 08/29/2002 12:29:09 PM PDT by kattracks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
The only rights homosexuals have is to repent or not go to heaven.

Christians No Longer Gay Living For God http://cnlglfg.com
15 posted on 10/12/2002 5:49:51 AM PDT by TonyTheTigger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson