A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists


By Quill

Paper won’t call football team ‘Redskins’

The Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star has changed part of the style found on its sports pages. The paper will no longer use the nickname “Redskins” in reference to the professional football team found in the nation’s capital. When covered, the team will be referred to as Washington.

Another change is the end to printing logos for professional and college sports teams using Native symbols that use imagery like arrowheads and caricatures of Native culture. An example of such a caricature is found in the Chief Wahoo logo of the Cleveland Indians, which has not been used since last summer. Alternative logos that do not involve Native symbols will be used instead.

Also to be dropped are any stereotypical modifiers, such as “Fighting,” which can be found in nicknames such as “Fighting Sioux” or “Fighting Illini.”

The paper says it will no longer use “Redskins” or “Skins” because the terms are racial slurs. They come from the genocidal practice in early America of scalping Indians to claim a bounty. For the same reason, the Portland Press Herald in Maine banned “Redskins” from its sports pages in July 2000.

Last year, the Native American Journalists Association called for all news organizations to end the use of sports mascots and nicknames depicting Native Americans by 2004.

ABC: It’s OK for Cokie to serve on Bush’s panel

ABC’s Cokie Roberts has come under fire recently for agreeing to be a member of Bush’s President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. The panel has been formed to award triumphs in volunteer service among children and adults.

Though ABC’s Roberts gives political analysis – including coverage of the Bush administration – ABC News has said the network gives its approval and does not see a conflict of interest in the appointment.

“Not only does she have a family with a long history of commitment to public service and she herself has a personal commitment to public service, but she also has a very strong and distinguished track record of being an absolutely fair and objective observer and analyst,” said network spokeswoman Su-Lin Nichols.

Cops accused of spying on journalists,

A lawyer has charged that Denver police intelligence bureau officers may have conducted background checks on private companies. The lawyer says the officers may have also spied on journalists.

Lino Lipinsky, attorney for the American Friends Service Committee, raised the allegations in federal court. The group is just one of several that have filed a lawsuit against Denver, saying that the city’s Police Department has violated free speech rights by gathering intelligence information at peaceful demonstrations.

The group also wants to know if information from background checks have ended up in “spy files.”

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