Friday, January 15, 2021

NBC News Will Capitalize ‘B’ When Reporting on Black People Amid Calls to Adjust Style Guide

nbc-special report

*NBC News and MSNBC have joined the ranks of The Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed and other publications that will now capitalize the “B” when referring to Black Americans.  

In an open letter calling on The Associated Press to update its style guide, Sarah Glover, former president of the National Association for Black Journalists, said “the time has come for all news media to capitalize the B in Black.”

She added, “This book is the bible for working journalists and sets journalistic industry standards,” Glover wrote. “The AP has tremendous impact as a wire service with more than 1,000 subscribers worldwide.”

The move by several publications to adjust its reporting style comes amid protests over race relations and the police killing of George Floyd last month, Fox New reports. 

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Fox News confirmed last week that, “Effective immediately, NBC News and MSNBC will capitalize the ‘B’ in Black when referring to people or the community across all the networks’ platforms.”

This step is a good first step to affirm the significance of being Black in America,” Glover wrote in her open letter. “This matters. It’s to bring humanity to a group of people who have experienced forms of oppression and discrimination since they first came to the United States 401 years ago as enslaved people. I ask for this change in honor of the Black Press, which already capitalizes the ‘B’ in Black, and in honor of the legacy of the 44 brave men and women who founded the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in 1975.”

In 2015, Lori L. Tharps, of Temple University, wrote an op-ed for The New York Times titled, “The Case for Black with a Capital B.”

She noted that “when speaking of a culture, ethnicity or group of people, the name should be capitalized.”  

The Huffington Post responded with: “I congratulate her for opening a conversation that is long overdue, a conversation that goes to the heart of how a large group of Americans with the most difficult of histories has struggled to express itself and gain greater agency in American society.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.



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