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Crosscurrents

Does better reporting equal less hate? Sikh Americans say yes

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Sikh Coalition
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Hate crimes against many communities have increased in recent years, and Indian Sikhs are no exception.

There are about 500,000 Sikhs in the United States, a large number of whom are here in California. A recent report by ProPublica found Sikhs are increasingly targets of xenophobes and racists. They face discrimination, violence, and even murder.

 

The civil rights group the Sikh Coalition recently issued a reporter’s guide to Sikhism, and delivered it to reporters, producers, and editors at more than 500 U.S. news outlets.

 

The group says there’s a lot of misinformation about Sikhs in the news cycle, and that more accurate media reporting may lead to fewer hate incidents.

 

Narinder Singh is Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition. He joined KALW in the studio, along with journalist AC Thompson, who reported on hate crimes against Sikhs for ProPublica’sDocumenting Hate project last year.

"We [journalists] have a huge role to play. What we can do is we can say, hey these are your neighbors. These are the folks that you share your community with. This is their story. Let them share their story. I think the newsroom guide can really help reporters get the basic questions answered, and operate from a place of more knowledge that will improve their coverage." —A.C. Thompson

Click the audio player to listen to the full interview.   

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Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.