The New York Post and other media outlets have sparked criticisms online for a photo used in an article about the first confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) case in New York City.
Social media users have been blasting the publication for using a picture showing Asian people in Flushing, Queens while reporting on a confirmed case in Manhattan.
— New York Post (@nypost) March 2, 2020
In the article, the patient has been described as a woman from Manhattan “in her late thirties” who contracted the virus “while traveling abroad in Iran.”
Twitter users were quick to point out that the Post could have used a more appropriate image.
Using a misleading photo of Chinatown in Flushing, Queens to represent the first case of coronavirus which originated in Iran and in Manhattan perpetuates racist stereotypes. #racist #stereotypes @ccampy @nypost
— Positively Sparkle (@PosSparkle) March 2, 2020
THAT’S A PHOTO OF FLUSHING MAIN STREET WHERE THE POPULATION IS MOSTLY ASIAN THATS NOT EVEN MAHATTAN SMH
— esquvidu (@sc00byd00bie) March 2, 2020
Of all the photos y’all could have used. pic.twitter.com/30tV3cDBxm
— 💫✨WOO (@TheJessieWoo) March 2, 2020
Please change this racist photo.
— Candace⁷ (@JudgmentalNYer) March 2, 2020
Let’s show a picture of Asians walking around Flushing when the person who has this went to Iran and lives in Manhattan.
— Tomas B. (@TommybTom) March 2, 2020
. @nypost this post is extremely misleading and it’s okay for you to retract it with an apology for the deliberate vilification of Asians in America and abroad for that matter. It’s been up for 13 hours too long but it’s never too soon to delete this
— Aquaria (@aquariaofficial) March 2, 2020
In addition to the Twitter users accusing the New York Post from negligence to deliberate racism, some New York politicians also came out to condemn the terrible photo choice.
New York State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky posted a tweet echoing the concerns of others.
Posting a picture of an Asian man in Flushing, Queens while reporting about a confirmed case in Manhattan is troubling. This does nothing but further the misconceptions that are hurting many people and businesses in my district. https://t.co/pakm9K2pol
— Toby Ann Stavisky (@tobystavisky) March 2, 2020
Councilman Peter Koo also tweeted to call the New York Post out about the problematic photo:
This pic is Flushing, not Manhattan. A reminder: viruses are colorblind. https://t.co/XLfLbQ3jqz
— Peter Koo (@CMPeterKoo) March 2, 2020
Councilman Barry Grodenchik had this to say about the image:
— Barry Grodenchik (@BarryGrodenchik) March 2, 2020
As misinformation and panic over the COVID-19 outbreak continue to fuel the spate of discrimination and violence against Asians in different parts of the world, many are now voicing out their concerns on how the media handles news on the disease.
As of this writing, the New York Post has yet to address the criticisms it received on social media.
The New York Times was also hit with heavy criticism after using a photo of Chinese locals in Flushing’s Chinatown. The publication has since changed the feature image, according to Diet Prada.
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Slick move changing out that picture, @nytimes . If you’re gonna bother reporting on coronavirus-impacted xenophobia/anti-Chinese sentiment, then maybe don’t be guilty of the same lol. This virus doesn’t discriminate based on race, so why use a picture of Chinese locals in Flushing’s Chinatown for an article about a woman who may have contracted the virus from traveling in Iran? Y’all should know better. • #xenophobia #racism #nytimes #newyorktimes #nyc #newyorkcity #newyork #coronavirus #covid19 #virus #journalism #wtf #sketchy #reporter #reporting #photography #streetphotography #news #worldnews #manhattan #quarantine #dietprada
Feature Image via Google Maps