The Global Press Style Guide

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belief systems


Do not conflate religions and belief systems. Treat all believers with dignity. Use precise language to describe belief systems. Do not reject the validity of a belief system based on your own or your readers’ lack of familiarity with it.


A belief system is a general term referring to a set of principles or practices. A religion is a specific set of beliefs that are practiced in a formalized way. Preferential language is often used to refer to believers of mainstream religions. It is not the journalist’s job to verify that a belief system is true. Note, however, that does not preclude a journalist from investigating the practices of a religion.


This is a deviation from AP Style.


Do not conflate race with skin color. Only refer to a source’s skin color when central to the story’s news value. Always include local context.


It is not accurate to conflate race with skin color. Source dignity is prioritized when skin color is referred to only when pertinent to a story’s news value.


Today, the group of people collectively known as “war veterans,” including those represented by the Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans’ Association, is a powerful political faction that also carries out many of the land seizures in order to install black Zimbabweans, including some war veterans, as owners of farms once owned by white Zimbabweans. Read this full story from Zimbabwe in Global Press Journal here.