NYT changes stylebook on concentration camps

Romenesko Misc.

The Kosciuszko Foundation has been asking the media to stop referring to "Polish concentration camps." The Wall Street Journal changed its style guide in November, and now the New York Times has followed. Its letter is after the jump.

Alex Storozynski

President & Executive Director

The Kosciuszko Foundation

15 East 65th Street

New York, NY 10065

Dear Mr. Storozynski:

After further discussions of the concerns raised by you and others, Times editors have decided to add an entry to the newsroom's stylebook specifically cautioning journalists to avoid misleading phrases like "Polish concentration camp."

As we have already pointed out, editors immediately took steps to correct the erroneous references to Dachau in an online caption over the weekend. We also published a correction about the phrase "Polish concentration camp" in an obituary last fall. We understand the great sensitivity of this topic and regret that any such lapses have occurred. But we would like to reiterate that such instances, however unfortunate, are simply mistakes, and it is wrong to suggest that they reflect any malice or deliberate distortion.

Still, to demonstrate our shared concern over this issue, we will add a note on this point to the stylebook and take extra care to try to avoid any further errors.

Sincerely,

Eileen Murphy

Eileen M. Murphy

Vice President, Corporate Communications

The New York Times Company

620 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10018

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.

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