Code Switch FAQ

What is Code Switch?

Code Switch comprises a team of six NPR journalists who cover race, ethnicity and culture. Our work appears on-air and online, across NPR's shows and digital outlets. We produce this blog, a Tumblr, a Twitter stream, and a Facebook feed.

Who's on the team?

You can see full bios of all the team members here.

Where does the blog get its name?

In linguistics, "code-switching" means mixing languages or patterns of speech in conversation. But as our blog host Gene Demby explains: "We're looking at code-switching a little more broadly. Many of us subtly, reflexively change the way we express ourselves all the time. We're hop-scotching between different cultural and linguistic spaces and different parts of our own identities — sometimes within a single interaction.

"We decided to call this team Code Switch because much of what we'll be exploring are the different spaces we each inhabit and the tensions of trying to navigate between them. In one sense, code-switching is about dialogue that spans cultures. It evokes the conversation we want to have here."

Why cover race, ethnicity and culture?

As you've probably heard, the U.S. is in the midst of a big demographic shift. Over the next few decades, people of color will come to compose a majority of the country's population, a transition that's already happened among the nation's youngest residents. Already, race, ethnicity and culture play a starring role in some of the biggest stories unfolding in the news, and that role will only increase as this demographic shift continues. We want to cover these matters with the depth, nuance, intelligence and comprehensiveness they deserve.

Comments

 

Discussions about race, ethnicity and culture tend to get dicey quickly, so we hold our commenters on Code Switch to an especially high bar. We may delete comments we think might derail the conversation. If you're new to Code Switch, please read over our FAQ and NPR's Community Guidelines before commenting. We try to notify commenters individually when we remove their comments, but given that we receive a high volume of comments, we may not always be able to get in touch. If we've removed a comment you felt was a thoughtful and valuable addition to the conversation, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us by emailing codeswitch@npr.org.

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