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The Global Press Style Guide

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abortion

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Use precise descriptions of quality of care, medical complications and/or legal context when describing abortions in general or in reference to a specific patient’s medical procedure. Do not use the adjective unsafe to describe abortion under any circumstance. Do not use back alley to describe abortion under any circumstance.

Do not use the terms pro-life or pro-choice in any instance to define abortion-related movements, policies or perspectives. They are political terms that are not globally applied and have additional political implications related to capital punishment and euthanasia. Do not use anti-abortion as a synonym for pro-life, and do not use abortion-rights as a synonym for pro-choice. Instead, use precise language to describe a person’s position on this complex issue, with an emphasis on dignity, and use words that do not convey judgment or political affiliation. Describe the source’s personal circumstances where appropriate, and always include the cultural and legal context of the location.

Rationale:

Precise descriptions promote reader clarity and source dignity.

accent marks

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Always use accent marks to accurately spell names of people and places, using any necessary or preferred characters that websites can reproduce.

Rationale:

An accent mark is a part of a complete, correctly spelled name.

al-/Al-

Rule:

Use Al-, capitalized, with the names of companies, public institutions and family names, such as Al-Jazeera or Al-Saud. Use al-, lowercase, with common nouns and with groups that have names that are capitalized but do not fall into the above categories, such as al-Shabaab or al-Qaeda.

Rationale:

Precise use of capitalization in these instances indicates a specific meaning in Arabic. A word’s meaning can change based on whether the article is capitalized.

albinism

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Do not use albino to refer to people who have the medical condition of albinism. Instead, when relevant, state that the person has albinism.

Rationale:

Using a source’s medical condition or biological variation as a label violates the dignity of that source.

ancestry

Rule:

Use the term ancestry to refer to the physical bloodline or lineage of a person or group. Use ancestry in place of ethnicity, which this style guide bans.

Rationale:

When relevant, references to a person’s ancestry are more precise than other commonly used words, such as ethnicity or culture.

Animism

Rule:

Animism should be capitalized, because it is a specific religious system.

Do not use Animism as a catchall word to describe paganism, Voodoo or other belief systems.

Rationale:

Precise references promote reader clarity and source dignity.

anonymous sources

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Global Press Journal reporters pursue information on the record in every case. When on-the-record interviews and information are not possible, Global Press Journal grants anonymity to sources when naming them would likely result in danger, retribution or undue stigma. Reasons for granting anonymity are made clear to the reader. Public figures, particularly politicians, are not likely to be granted anonymity on statements or issues directly related to their public position.

Rationale:

Global Press Journal grants anonymity to sources who have demonstrated that conditions apply to warrant anonymity. Consult local laws for rules regarding anonymity.

Arab/Arab World

Rule:

Do not use Arab or Arab World as a general reference. Instead, specify nationality/nation or other more specific descriptors.

Rationale:

Precise descriptions promote reader clarity and source dignity.

armed groups

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Use the term armed group, or use the specific name of the group with a description of the mandate of the group, so that readers understand the context in which the group has chosen to take up arms. When referring to a single person, use the word member and define their relationship to the group. Do not use “soldier” to describe a member of an armed group.

Do not use rebel, radical, guerilla, militant or terror group to describe organizations that use weapons to defend their expressed interests.

Rationale:

Describing armed groups as rebel, guerilla, militant or terrorist groups carries bias and may be inaccurate.

asylum seeker/asylee

Rule:

Use the term asylum seeker to refer to someone who has formally applied for asylum in a foreign country. Use the term asylee to refer to someone who has received admittance into a foreign country. There are no globally applied standards used to grant asylum. Both terms should be used in accordance with local laws in countries relevant to a story’s news value.

Note that these terms are not interchangeable with refugee or related words. Add context, including sociopolitical realities in a source’s home country and in the country where that source seeks asylum.

Rationale:

Terms related to asylum are often misapplied. Precise, context-rich references are required for accuracy and reader clarity.

attribution

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Global Press style uses the present tense attribution “says” in every case for human sources. Use “according to” for documents or inanimate bodies. Do not attribute information to unspecified groups of people, such as many say, some believe, etc.

Rationale:

Using words other than “says” can imply bias and may inaccurately describe the source’s intentions. Information must be attributed to specific sources to ensure reader clarity.