Search Results for: Redskins
The NFL season is under way. Just in case the team from Washington does something that warrants reporting, please remember that we avoid saying its name. Our guidance is here.
Meanwhile, the baseball team from Cleveland is setting records and could end up in the World Series again. We should avoid using photos that include images of the team’s longtime mascot, Chief Wahoo. As we have previously said:
“At NPR, the policy on ‘potentially offensive language’ applies to the images posted online as well. It begins by stating that ‘as a responsible broadcaster, NPR has always set a high bar on use of language that may be offensive to our audience.’”
If you come across other potentially offensive team names or logos, apply the same thinking as we have in these cases.
(“Memmos;” Sept. 14, 2017)
We have not changed it significantly, but we have added to our guidance on the name of Washington’s NFL team. Here’s an update:
NPR News does not plan to prohibit the use of the full team name. The team’s name is the name and our job is to report on the world as it is, not to take a position or become part of the story.
But, our policy on potentially offensive language states that “as a responsible broadcaster, NPR has always set a high bar on use of language that may be offensive to our audience. Use of such language on the air [and online] has been strictly limited to situations where it is absolutely integral to the meaning and spirit of the story being told.”
That guidance should be kept in mind. Here’s how:
As a network, we do not have much occasion to report on this club. When we do, we can usually refer to it simply as “Washington” or “the team” once we’ve established that we’re talking about the city’s NFL franchise. This line, for example, was on our air after the firing of Washington’s coach: “Last year the Redskins made the playoffs, this year they were only 3-13, Mike Shanahan was held to account.” We could have said: “Last year Washington made the playoffs, this year the team was only 3-13, Mike Shanahan was held to account.”
Headlines about the team (on the few stories we might post about the club that aren’t about the name controversy) can be a difficult issue. “Seahawks Crush Redskins” can be changed to “Seattle Crushes Washington.” But “Giants Crush Redskins” can’t become “New York Crushes Washington” because a reader wouldn’t know if we’re referring to the Giants or the Jets.
Again, we are not prohibiting the use of the full team name. At times, it will have to be used – particularly when reporting about the controversy. At times, it may sound awkward to refer to the club as “Washington” or “the team.” Clarity in our reporting is vital. In some cases, achieving that clarity will require using the team’s name (for instance, to distinguish the club from Washington’s other sports teams). Guests will surely use the word Redskins during interviews.
But we can also be sensitive, avoid overuse of the word and use alternatives – as we would with other potentially offensive language.
(Memmos; Oct. 10, 2014)