News agency bans use of phrase 'alt-right' after Charlottesville violence

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An international news agency has banned journalists from using the phrase “alt-right” amid claims it disguises racism.

The Associated Press will no longer publish the term in articles following clashes between white supremacists and anti-racism protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left one woman dead.

The news agency advised reporters to only use the phrase when quoting speech or when describing somebody as so-called or self-described alt-right.

AP’s current guidelines, published this year, read: “Depending on the specifics of the situation, such beliefs might be termed racist, white supremacist or neo-Nazi; be sure to describe the specifics. “Whenever “alt-right” is used in a story, include a definition: an offshoot of conservatism mixing racism, white nationalism and populism, or, more simply, a white nationalist movement.”

A protest held following violence in Charlottesville (AP)

Guidelines have also been published noting the differences between the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist”.

Despite many people using the terms interchangeably the agency describes white nationalism as a subset of racist beliefs that calls for a separate territory and/or enhanced legal rights and protections for white people.

Protesters march against racism in Virginia (Reuters)

White supremacy is described as the racist belief that whites are superior to justify political, economic and social suppression of non-white people and other minority groups.

The guidelines also give a definition of neo-Nazism as a combination of racist and white supremacist beliefs with admiration for an authoritarian, totalitarian style of government such as the German Third Reich to enforce its beliefs.


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