Professor Kanigel Discusses Identifying Race in Journalism

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
DAILY COLLEGIAN (PENN STATE UNIVERSITY) -- Definitions of race reflect a social definition and the terms listed in the “Diversity Style Guide” are not an attempt to define race biologically, genetically or anthropologically, according to Rachele Kanigel, the editor of the “Diversity Style Guide” and a professor of Journalism at San Francisco State University. In regards to whether people choose to identify themselves as Latino/Latina or Hispanic, Kanigel said it depends on the region of the country and where people's families come from. “People have really different feelings about these terms,” Kanigel said. “I think it’s really important you check your sources and see what people are most comfortable with.” Kanigel said understanding that language is always changing in regards to self-identification is vital. “It’s our responsibility as human beings to keep up with this conversation and talk to people about these things and seek advice and guidance,” Kanigel said. “Be careful about language because words can hurt and words can heal.”