Fox News Media announced Monday that when referencing to race, the word “Black” will now be capitalized, along with “White” and “Brown,” in keeping with recommendations from the National Association of Black Journalists.
The decision comes after weeks of unrest in America and a national conversation around systemic racism. It also comes after MSNBC and NBC News made the decision to capitalize “Black,” while CNN mandated the capitalization of not only “Black,” but “White.”
Jon Glenn, vice president of news writing & style and senior executive producer at Fox News Media, sent a staff email Monday outlining the changes happening effective immediately.
“Starting today, Fox News Media will capitalize Black when it is used as an adjective describing people, a community, or culture. Outlets including the Associated Press have recently started making the change, and Fox News Media joins them,” he wrote.
He went on, “We are making this adjustment after consulting our own diversity team, and after careful research into the history of language, culture, and customs.”
Glenn noted that while this new rule is in line with the previously existing standards at the company for other references — like “Latino” — there is room for deviance when appropriate: “If the subject of a story prefers a more precise description (for instance, ‘African American’ or ‘Haitian American’) we will use that preference whenever possible.”
He concluded, “The National Association of Black Journalists recommends that whenever a color is used to appropriately describe race, it should be capitalized, including White and Brown. We will follow that recommendation. Additionally, avoid using these terms as nouns, particularly in their singular forms.”
CNN staffers were instructed to begin capitalizing “Black” and “White” June 18. NBC News and MSNBC staffers were given their directive a week earlier.