The National Newspaper Association is urging its community newspaper publishers and editors to use precise language in coverage of the flu pandemic. The association's president, Cheryl Kaechele, told members that confusion from newspaper headlines that refer to H1N1 as "swine flu" has unfairly cast doubt upon the pork industry. The National Newspaper Association represents the owners, publishers and editors of America's 2,400 daily and weekly community newspapers.
Kaechele, in her letter to members, said NNA was asked on behalf of pork producing states to clarify for readers that exposure to hogs, pork products or other swine is not the precipitator of the virus. As newspapers that often cover farming communities, she said, NNA member publications should be aware of the nature of this confusion and accurately label stories about the virus.
Tim Bierman, an Iowa pork producer and president of the National Pork Board, said it is gratifying to see the leader on the largest association of newspapers supporting pork producers on this important issue. More information on the terminology issue can be found at the National Newspaper Association Web site www.nna.com.