No animal should be called “it”: AP journalism guidelines discussion with media experts Deb Merskin & Ana Bradley
Media Professor Dr. Debra Merskin and Sentient Media Executive Director Ana Bradley discuss a campaign (started by In Defense of Animals and supported by Jane Goodall and others) to encourage the Associated Press to update its journalism style guidelines to use pronouns like "they," "she," "he," or "he or she" to describe an individual animal, rather than calling him or her "it" (a word only fitting for an inanimate object). In this 26-minute podcast, we discuss the impact of media messages about fellow animals on our treatment of them and ways we can encourage the media to do better. Debra Merskin and radio/podcast host Carrie Freeman are the co-founders of the www.animalsandmedia.org style guidelines for respectful animal representations in news, advertising, PR, TV, and film. It's a useful site to share with media professionals when you are giving them constructive feedback. To read news that takes fellow animals' into consideration as sentient beings, see Sentient Media -- an online news site that promotes respectful journalism stories about fellow animals and the role we play in each others' lives.
This In Tune to Nature episode originally aired on April 14th, 2021. In Tune to Nature is an eco-and-animal-friendly radio show that airs each Wednesday from 6:30-7pm on Radio Free Georgia at wrfg.org or in Atlanta on 89.3FM (hosted by Carrie Freeman, Sonia Swartz, or Melody Paris). Please consider making a financial contribution to support this indie, non-commercial radio station at wrfg.org.
Photo credit: Amy Jones / We Animals. From the Photo Essay Next in Line