Barbara Howard: The so-called Free Speech Rally is scheduled for Saturday in Boston, but is it really about free speech? The rally organizers call themselves the Boston Free Speech Coalition or another benign term: the New Free Speech Movement. But among the speakers slated to be at their Boston rally are right wing extremists. It's not easy to navigate terms designed to disguise what groups truly stand for. So with us on the line is John Daniszewski. He is Vice President for Standards at the Associated Press, the AP. He articulates the AP wire service standards for what you read in many of America's newspapers from coast to coast and even overseas. Thanks for joining us, John.

John Daniszewski: Happy to be here.

Barbara Howard: Let's talk about some of the euphemisms and titles like that.

John Daniszewski: Well, the big one that we been working with is ‘alt-right,’ which is a term that most people ha[d] not heard of until last year when activists began to use it to describe white nationalist or white separatist or white supremacist groups getting into fights.

Barbara Howard: Well, earlier this week, you updated the AP standard. You added the word "anti-Semitism" to the definition of "alt-right." I'm surprised it wasn't already there. What prompted this change?

John Daniszewski: In looking at the activities of these groups, we saw that anti-Semitism was a big part of their presentation and thought it would be more correct to say that specifically in the guidance.

Barbara Howard: So on Tuesday when the president was speaking with reporters he used the term "alt-right." He turned it on its head though, coining the new term "alt-left" equating those protesting against the white nationalists in Charlottesville with the white nationalists themselves. So let's listen to what he had to say:

Clip: What about the "alt-left" that came charging at the as you say the "alt-right." Do they have any semblance of guilt?

Barbara Howard: Well, now critics say that that's a false equivalency on President Trump’s part. Can you talk about that?

John Daniszewski: Well, I don't know if false equivalency is the right word, but "alt-left" is a rather new newly coined word, as you said. It's a label that is applied to far leftist factions.

Barbara Howard: Well let's talk about some other terms that have been coined relatively recently. There’s the term "anti-fa" — the "anti-fa" movement...a far left, anti-fascism group. You say it's not that new, with antecedents dating back to the 1930s. Can you talk about that?

John Daniszewski: Well, yes, because in the 1930’s, they were the people who brawled in the streets against fascists in various countries. That's what the so called "anti-fa" traces its roots to. And I think also they became somewhat known for their anti-globalist demonstrations of the 1990’s and even around the Trump inauguration. "Anti-fa" activists were accused of smashing windows or getting into fights.

Barbara Howard: Well, I know at the WGBH newsroom, when we use the term "alt-right" or this so-called Free Speech Rally, we use the word "so-called" a lot to qualify things, and I know that's something that you've been pushing for in your guidance to journalists?

John Daniszewski: You're trying to balance two things. You're trying to reflect what the group says about themselves, but you don't want them to be alone in branding themselves. You want to be able to, as a journalist, to say exactly what they believe because the label "alt-right" can be used to disguise. And you want to pierce that disguise. Again, I think it's the role of the journalist to try to get to the nub of the matter. And the framing sometimes of these events like the so-called free speech demonstration you're talking about, can give it a patina of something that everyone agrees with, when you ... as a journalist knows that there's more behind it than just free speech.

Barbara Howard: OK. Thanks so much, John.

John Daniszewski: Thank you.

Barbara Howard: That's John Daniszewski. He's vice president for Standards at the Associated Press, the AP. He articulates the standards for AP stories that are published in newspapers both here and abroad.