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The Daily Tar Heel

The Daily Tar Heel reevaluates its use of "Latinx"


Aviso del editor: si gustaría leer este articulo en español, sigue este link.

The term “Latinx” has always been interesting to me. 

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that when I first encountered it on social media a few years ago, I thought someone had made a typo. I wasn’t as exposed to the ever-evolving world of gender-inclusive language then as I am now, and I hadn’t thought about the inevitability that the evolution of my second language, English, might soon manifest itself in my native tongue, Spanish.

Apparently, I wasn’t alone. 

A survey of 3,030 Hispanic individuals conducted by the Pew Research Center in December 2019 found only 3 percent of those surveyed used the term. Three-quarters of respondents had never even heard of it. 

The arguments for and against its use are, of course, varied. 

Some argue that its existence as a gender-neutral term helps to break the gender binary in the Spanish language and provides those in Spanish-speaking communities a term with which they can identify, particularly those who are non-binary. 

Others argue the term doesn't work because of the gendered nature of the language, or that it represents a needless anglicism of Spanish imposed on Hispanic communities by non-Hispanic individuals. 

Some prefer the use of "Latine" because it flows more easily with the language itself while still serving the same purpose as Latinx. Others think neither should be used.

The complex nature of the issue and the many reasons for which people may or may not use it inspired me to look inward at our newsroom's use of the term. The Daily Tar Heel's official style, as of now, is to use "Latinx" to refer to individuals of Latin American origin. 

But what does our community think? Do they actually use the term or not? Is there consensus on the issue or is it more nuanced than that?

That's why I've decided to conduct an audit on the subject, surveying our newsroom and our audience on their thoughts on "Latinx" and its use.

Over the course of the next month, I will be reaching out to leaders in both the UNC community and the greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro community around it to hear their thoughts and discuss ways to properly represent those from a Hispanic or Latin American background through our coverage. 

I invite you to fill out our survey and let us know what you think by filling out this survey.

Through these efforts, I hope to make the work that we do here at the DTH as inclusive as possible. I will be sure to update the community as we make progress on this matter and the conversations that arise from it. 

It may take time, but I truly believe this is a conversation worth having.

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