Elimin8Hate (E8), the advocacy arm of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF), released the first Canadian Style Guide for Reporting on Asian Canadian Communities. As a living document, the E8 Style Guide offers best practices for journalists and media reporting on people of Asian Heritage and their communities. The Style Guide is a community response to systemic, biased representation in mainstream media coverage that has contributed to discrimination and harmful narratives towards Asian Canadians.
The resource presents examples of representative language and important considerations regarding context, language, sources and Asian Canadian journalists in newsrooms. With a surge of anti-Asian hate crimes and sentiment across the country since the onset of COVID-19, Elimin8Hate has made it a mission to combat inaccurate portrayals of the Asian community that further perpetuate negative stereotypes and fuel racist attitudes. E8 also conducts forums and presentations throughout classrooms, organizations and the community to drive collective awareness on the importance of representation.
“We know that mainstream news stories have incredible influence over public perceptions and wider entertainment,“ says Barbara Lee, founder, Elimin8Hate and VAFF. “This means journalists have a responsibility in covering our communities through an unbiased lens instead of playing on tired stereotypes or reinforcing dangerous narratives. Elimin8Hate’s Style Guide, we hope, will be a useful tool in driving fair representation of racialized communities in Canadian media.”
Elimin8Hate was born of the need to support diverse community groups battling anti-Asian racism with its mission to empower Asian Canadians, educate the public on oppressive systems and ultimately, eliminate anti-Asian racism. The Elimin8Hate (E8) Style Guide by VAFF includes contributions from Project 1907, independent journalists and the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop (ACWW) with referenced content from the American Asian Journalists Association. The complete E8 Style Guide can be found at www.elimin8hate.org/style-guide.