Contributor Perspectives

Reading Between the Lines in International News Coverage

Anisa Mehdi
Board of Contributors
Jan 10, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
 The way we use words, consciously and unconsciously, creates realities and reinforces cultural norms.

Because words give rise to concepts, a responsibility comes along with how we use available words and what ideas they beget.

(adamkaz/iStock)

In this age of information, it's easy to forget the enormous power that words carry. I frequently find myself critiquing certain language used in news media: generalizations, analogies, categories. As a graduate of Columbia University's School of Journalism who worked for years in mainstream broadcast newsrooms, including that of CBS Evening News in New York City, I know that most reporters don't intentionally mislead the public. We're under deadline pressure. Necessarily we use shortcuts in terminology. But we must be aware that our words shape societal concepts and public opinion. The way we use words, consciously and unconsciously, creates realities and reinforces cultural norms....

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