What stereotypes in the news media annoy or enrage you? I attended a seminar sponsored by the Southeast chapter of the American Copy Editors Society on Sunday in Chapel Hill, and one of the liveliest discussions we had was about stereotypes: generational, racial, ethnic, political, sexual, socioeconomic.
For copy editors and other journalists, it’s a matter of accuracy, clarity and fairness. Cliches figure into our choices, too. Is it accurate to label conservatives “right-wing”? Are all liberals “left-leaning”? Is it news when a woman who happens to have grandchildren is arrested on a drug charge? Does the word “elderly” apply to people in their 60s? Are all working-class neighborhoods “gritty”? And when was the last time you heard a suburban neighborhood described as anything but “quiet”?
I’d like to hear from people who aren’t copy editors. Weigh in by hitting “Leave a comment” below.
This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.