AAJA Says To Avoid Racial Identifiers In Virginia Tech Coverage

(AP Photo/Casey Templeton)
The Asian American Journalist Association is calling on news outlets "to avoid using racial identifiers unless there is a compelling or germane reason" when identifying the Virginia Tech suspect.

Says the Association: "There is no evidence at this early point that the race or ethnicity of the suspected gunman has anything to do with the incident, and to include such mention serves only to unfairly portray an entire people. The effect of mentioning race can be powerfully harmful. It can subject people to unfair treatment based simply on skin color and heritage."

We now know the suspect was 23-year-old Tech senior Cho Seung-Hui, who yesterday was being identified only as a "young Asian male." In a press release, CBS News initially referred to him as Sueng-hui Cho. The discrepancy comes from the fact that Korean surnames are listed first, while in America they appear at the end of a name. CBS News is now referring to the suspect as Cho Seung-Hui, which follows the Korean tradition.