Dear Journalists, Writers, Authors,
My post this week is targeted at the people who write about us without consulting with us on the language that they should use to refer to diabetes. I'm so glad that advocate Sinead Burke has mentioned this too so that it's not just the diabetes community who highlighting it.
This is what I would like to share with our writer friends:
World Diabetes Day is coming up and if you are going to feature it, please, please, please read this post first!
The language you use to write about diabetes affects people living with diabetes hugely and it has the power to harm or help. Let’s try for the later.
World Diabetes Day is November 14th and every year we, the people living with diabetes, are described as “sufferers” or referred to by their illness. Don’t assume that everyone is ok with this!
“Referring to people with diabetes as “diabetic sufferers’ positions them as helpless victims, powerless to lead a normal life with diabetes.” From the Diabetes Australia’s Language Policy.
“How we talk about diabetes matters; using empowering, non-stigmatizing words is important when speaking with and about people with diabetes”
Great Resources for Journalists
There are some great resources available for you that will not take up too much of your time to read and it’s well worth reading.
Please, please, please select one of the following for more information on writing about diabetes. It won’t take up much of your time and it will be worth it!
The Diabetes Australia Position Statement on the Language of Diabetes which gives examples of language to be avoided, rationale and examples of preferred language
Media guide from Diabetes UK on the appropriate language to use when writing about diabetes. I guarantee you won’t regret spending a few minutes on it.
NHS Diabetes and Language Guide “Language Matters”
The American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes and Language Statement
And please do talk to Diabetes Ireland who can provide lots of accurate information, especially the facts and figures that relate to your region and/or diabetes in Ireland.
P.S I love this tweet shared by Moninne Griffith at the Press Ombudsman Seminar on “Minority Communities and the Press.