Gudeline on “alt-right”(Guardian)

Guardian style editors “'Alt-right': why the Guardian decided not to ban use of the term”


Like other news organisations*3, the Guardian has been considering how it uses the term and on Wednesday issued the following editorial guidance:


Use once, with a hyphen and in quotes, at first mention, followed by the brief but broad description of it being a far-right movement. Prefer far right (noun) or far-right (adjective) at any subsequent mention.

More specific descriptions can be used where relevant when mentioning individuals associated with the movement, but such descriptions should be evidence-based. For example, one of the de facto leaders of the “alt-right”, a far-right movement in the US, is the white supremacist Richard Spencer, who used Nazi slogans to celebrate the election victory of Donald Trump.

By way of providing some background to this guidance, it was agreed that the use of “alt-right” should not be banned because it exists as a term that is used in the world, particularly in the US, and it is the media’s job to describe and reflect the world as it is. That said, it should describe and reflect the world – including the “alt-right” – accurately, hence the requirement for a description to be included at first mention.


Regarding the breadth of the movement, it was decided the Guardian should avoid defining the “alt-right” simply as a white nationalist group, not because it isn’t, but because:

a) That’s not all it is: it can also be anti-globalisation, anti-establishment, antisemitic, racist, misogynist etc, and,

b) People within the movement are not all of those things: some would associate themselves with the group simply because they want to protect US jobs/industry; others because they have had enough of the political, media and business elite pulling the strings, and would not consider themselves to be white supremacists, racists etc.

That said, as the style guidance states, where individuals are known to support specific ideologies eg white nationalism, then it is acceptable for writers to make that link, always, preferably, with a supporting factual statement.

alt-right”の教祖(?)Richard Spencerの言い分;

The man who coined the term in 2008, Richard Spencer, of the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist thinktank in the US, has said he intended it to describe a diverse, heterodox group whose members were “deeply alienated, intellectually, even emotionally and spiritually, from American conservatism”. While the term today remains flexible, he says, affiliation now has some minimum requirements.

“Someone who is really alt-right recognises the reality of race, and the fact that race matters, and that race is an essential component of identity.”*4

*1:See also

*2:See eg. また、”alt-right”という用語の「消毒」効果への批判としては、Nesrine Malik “Donald Trump, Stephen Bannon and how bigotry became a cool new trend”も参照されたい。


*4: Jason Wilson “A sense that white identity is under attack’: making sense of the alt-right