Pronoun policy ‘step forward’ for writers

By Dave Gong

As a journalist and a Northern Star alumnus, I applaud the paper for its decision to identify those quoted in articles by their preferred pronoun.

In today’s age, something like gender can often be a fluid thing, and policies like the one recently adopted by the Northern Star are not “get-out-of-jail-free” cards. Reporters routinely ask sources how they would prefer to be identified with respect to the spelling of names and job titles. It makes sense that reporters should also clarify a person’s preference regarding gender identification where appropriate.

Furthermore, it’s now more important than ever that LGBT community members feel comfortable speaking to journalists. The pronoun policy is a step forward in showing the community at large the Star is an inclusive publication and all people should feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and experiences.

As journalists, we must adapt to bring news to a changing world as quickly and accurately as possible. The Northern Star’s new policy does nothing to diminish its typically sterling reputation as a credible, accurate newspaper.

There’s no doubt that the Star’s new policy is progressive. It’s a necessary policy that effectively removes ambiguity with respect to gender from the reporting process and shows that the student reporters at NIU take issues like gender identification and sexual orientation very seriously.

Cheers, Northern Star. Keep on doing what you’re doing.