Jose Antonio Vargas may have reenergized the debate over whether to use the term “illegal immigrant,” but Univision’s taking it to a whole new level.
The nation’s top-rated Spanish-language broadcast network took The New York Times to task last week in a series of articles on its English-language website, after The Times’ Public Editor Margaret Sullivan defended the paper’s decision to continue using the term “illegal immigrant,” in its pages and online. Sullivan explained her decision as a matter of accuracy. Univision pointed out that Latinos largely find the term offensive and intimated that The New York Times’ decision may have more to do with lack of diversity than journalistic ethics.
In a post to her blog on Oct. 2, Sullivan wrote that, after thinking about the debate for a couple weeks, she had sided against the term “undocumented.”
Univision shot back in a series of articles critiquing Sullivan’s logic and portraying the paper as out-of-touch with Latinos.
The day after Sullivan’s post, Univision dredged up a long list of terms The New York Times once allowed in its pages. A partial list includes the terms “wetbacks,” “Negro,” “Jap,” “Redskins,” “Chinaman” and “homo.”
In a separate post filed the same day titled “The Times Is Behind the Times,” Univision noted that media outlets that aim to reach Latino audiences keep away from the term “illegal immigrant.”"
— Roque Planas, “’Illegal Immigrant’ Debate: Univision Takes On The New York Times,” Huffington Post 10/8/12