The constant news coverage of the coronavirus is nonstop. And with that, the constant pairing of it with imagery featuring Chinese people / Chinese food / Chinatown is, quite frankly, irresponsible given that the virus has now spread to Spain, Iran, parts of the United States, and now Italy. Also, anyone can get coronavirus. It’s not like it’s a sentient, racist virus that attacks only a certain group of people – you can be non Asian and get it.
So, I wondered what the headlines and photos would look like in a Google news search of “Boston North End” instead of “Boston Chinatown.” Here’s what I came up with:
I replaced mentions of “Chinatown” with “North End,” swapped out comparatively well-known local spots, and replaced images.
Because, headlines like this recent article from The Boston Globe paired specifically with that photo is sheer laziness and ignorance. Shit like this affects an entire community – racist people become emboldened to act out on their ignorance, both verbally and physically.
I know that as an editor, there’s only a limited amount of characters to work with, a featured image along with an attention grabbing headline are needed to stand out from the thousands of other news stories clogging up everyone’s timelines, but don’t sacrifice journalistic integrity for a few extra clicks.
Just be more mindful.