On three different instances in the past few weeks, media have misidentified women of color, and Grist staff writer Aura Bogado pointed out on Twitter why those kinds of reporting inaccuracies matter.
On May 24, Fox News’ Fox & Friends incorrectly aired video footage of Democratic California Senate candidate Kamala Harris, who is black, when the show was actually reporting on Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democratic Mexican-American who is running for a Senate seat representing Nevada.
CNN similarly misidentified another Mexican-American woman in a tweet about the California primary on June 7, wrongly using a picture of Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) to depict her sister, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), who is running for a Senate seat.
Also on June 7, in stories about the death of Helen Fabela Chavez -- who, along with her late husband Cesar Chavez, was pivotal in fighting for the rights of farm workers -- several media outlets, including 12 KSLA News in Louisiana, originally ran the picture of civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, who is very much alive. As Bogado noted on Twitter, the problem could have originated from erroneous indexation on AP’s Images Collection.
Misidentifying women of color could have impacts that go beyond inaccurate reporting. As Bogado noted on her Twitter feed, it does nothing for improving the representation of minorities in the media: