Los Angeles Times executive editor Norman Pearlstine claimed that using the word "looting" in relation to the unrest that has taken place during the George Floyd protests has a "racist connotation."
On Tuesday's PBS NewsHour, there was a panel discussion about black representation in the newsroom and how recent controversies like at The New York Times would not have happened if black journalists were "at the table."
Pearlstein then shed light on a debate that occurred at his own paper.
"One of the active debates we had over the past week was about the use of the word “looting” to describe the destruction of property," Pearlstein said. "The feeling among the black journalists at The Los Angeles Times who frankly educated the rest of us to the fact that looting had a pejorative racist connotation and that comparing it to the kind of behavior of the police and the kind of behavior that we witnessed really was a false equivalency and yet it was one that we were making as journalists if you picked up a copy of our paper."
National Association of Black Journalists president Dorothy Tucker called the conversation "interesting," adding that the word "riot" falls in a "similar" category as the word "looting.
"I appreciate the fact that you're having that kind of discussion at the LA Times," Tucker told Pearlstein.
On the subject of journalists allowing their opinions to be injected into their reporting, Pearlstein recalled the reporting during the Vietnam War, citing journalist David Halberstam who he said was among those who were "letting their opinions into their journalism," something he thought was "for the better."