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Asian American journalists’ guidelines for covering Jeremy Lin

Monday, February 27, 2012

imageIn case you missed it, the Asian American Journalists Association has issued a list of do’s and don’ts for covering Jeremy Lin. They’re comprehensive and explode several myths, including this: “Lin is not the first Asian American to play in the National Basketball Association. Raymond Townsend – who’s of Filipino descent – was a first-round choice of the Golden State Warriors in the 1970s . . .”

Add: As for Lin, here’s a sampler from the section under “Danger Zones”:

DRIVING: This is part of the sport of basketball, but resist the temptation to refer to “an Asian who knows how to drive.”

EYE SHAPE: This is irrelevant. Do not make such references if discussing Lin’s vision.

FOOD: Is there a compelling reason to draw a connection between Lin and fortune cookies, takeout boxes or similar imagery? In the majority of news coverage, the answer will be no.

Noted: As for any journo tempted to compare Lin to Kobe Bryant, who’s sometimes referred to as “Black Mamba,” be warned: “Yellow Mamba” is unacceptable.

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