Earlier this week, I argued that The New York Times' refusal to refer to waterboarding as torture was the result of longstanding journalistic conventions, and had serious implications not just for torture but for climate change as well. Amanda Hess makes a few other observations:
Remember that the next time the media calls intimate partner violence and sexual assault by any-other-name. When a publication calls rape “sex,” it is not reserving judgment before trial. When it describes an accused assailant as “a loose cannon” and a “bad boy,” it is not adding color. When it characterizes self-defense after sexual assault as a “bar fight,” it is not being fair. It’s taking sides.
This isn't just a torture problem. It's a journalism problem. Until we recognize that what we consider journalistic "objectivity" is in fact a fairly specific social/economic/cultural outlook, it will continue to be a problem.