The Biden administration is urging people not to call the situation at the US-Mexico border a "crisis," and the Associated Press has taken heed. An AP editor now suggests that reporters rely on data, so as not to "portray migrants as a negative, harmful influence."
A leaked memo from Associated Press Vice President and Editor-at-Large for Standards John Daniszewski told AP staff to aim for "accurate and neutral language," and that the definition of "crisis" has not yet been met by the disastrous situtaion at the US-Mexico border.
The memo was called "From the Standards Center: A note about the current increase in border entrances," reports the Washington Examiner.
The memo read that "The current events in the news–a sharp increase in the arrival of unaccompanied minors–is a problem for border officials, a political challenge for Biden and a dire situation for many migrants who make the journey, but it does not fit the classic dictionary definition of a crisis."
Daniszewski said that if the word "crisis" is used, "we need to ask of what and to whom. There could be a humanitarian crisis if the numbers grow so large that officials cannot house the migrants safely or in sanitary conditions. Migrants may face humanitarian crises in their home countries. In theory, there could be a security or a border crisis if officials lose control of the border, allowing people to enter unencumbered in large numbers. But, in general, avoid hyperbole in calling anything a crisis or an emergency."
"Therefore," it goes on to say, "we should avoid, or at least, be highly cautious, about referring to the present situation as a crisis on our own, although we may quote others using that language."
The AP has had no problem referring to events at the US-Mexico border as a crisis in the past. They repeatedly used the term when Trump was in office, and even during the Obama years. Certainly if it was a crisis then, it is a crisis now.
While other news organizations continue to use the term, it appears "crisis" will no longer be in the Associated Press' vocabulary when describing the situation at the border.
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