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Guidelines offered to those covering Jeremy Lin to avoid racial stereotypes

Lin (AP photo)

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) has issued guidelines to help journalists avoid racial stereotypes and other unfortunate references when reporting on Jeremy Lin.

Last week, ESPN suspended an anchor and fired a website headline writer for using the phrase “chink in the armor” when describing the Palo Alto native’s performance in one game.

The AAJA wants journalists to think about the phrases they use and ask themselves if they would use the same terms to describe an athlete who is Caucasian, African American, Latino or Native American?

“Danger Points” in the AAJA’s guidelines include:

The AAJA also asks journalists to “use caution when discussing Lin’s physical characteristics, particularly those that feminize/emasculate the Asian male (Cinderella-story angles should not place Lin in a dress). Discussion of genetic differences in athletic ability among races should be avoided. In referring to Lin’s height or vision, be mindful of the context and avoid invoking stereotypes about Asians.”

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