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The Global Press Style Guide

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dateline

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Use all capital letters and an em dash to introduce a story, based on the place where the reporter gathered the primary information for a story. Even if most of the reporting for a story was gathered elsewhere, such as in a capital where officials or experts are easily accessible, the dateline should indicate the location of primary news value.

All datelines must include a country name, for reader clarity. When reporting from a contested area, use the most accurate descriptor, to ensure that readers understand whether people in that area are governed by a sovereign entity.

Rationale:

Readers have a right to transparent information about the location where reporting was conducted.

dates

Rule:

Use the Gregorian calendar as a default for dates. When a precise date can only be expressed by use of a non-Gregorian calendar, use that reference and provide a conversion.

Rationale:

The Gregorian calendar is widely used, but when specificity is required, a non-Gregorian calendar can be more precise.

death/suicide

Rule:

Always describe the verified method or cause of a person’s death, with the intention of emphasizing both the person’s dignity and the full truth of each scenario. If it is not possible to verify the method of death, use the general “died” with a note that informs readers that it was not possible to determine a more specific cause of death.

Rationale:

Using general language to describe death is inaccurate and can deprive a source of dignity, when more specificity is key to a story’s news value.

Developing World/emerging economy/Global South

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Do not use Global South to describe low- or middle-income countries. The term is geographically imprecise and is generally used as a sanitized synonym for poverty.

Do not use the terms Developing World or Developing Nations as a catchall for low- or middle-income countries. Instead, refer to the GDP of the country, in context with others, to precisely identify the economic status of a country, when relevant to the news value of the story.

Do not use emerging economy or emerging market to describe a country’s economic status. The terms are imprecise and do not have a widely accepted definition.

Instead, describe the country’s market characteristics, including liquidity and debt, when relevant to the news value of the story.

Rationale:

Using generalized terms to imply poverty across large land areas and countries that have little else in common reflects bias and defines complex communities by foreign standards of wealth.

Example:

Nepal, a landlocked country wedged between India to its south and China to its north, has a gross domestic product of just $21.1 billion, making it a bit player in the global economy, compared to its powerhouse neighbors.

disabilities

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Describe all references to people with disabilities in a way that prioritizes precision and the source’s personal dignity. A person’s disability should not be referred to in the story unless it has specific relevance to the story’s news value.

Do not use imprecise terms, including disabled person or the disabled. Do not use the phrases “differently abled,” and “handi-capable,” because they are imprecise. Do not refer to people who do not have disabilities as normal or able-bodied.

Do not describe a source as the subject of a disease or disorder, but rather as a person with a disease or disorder. Do not use the words “deformed,” “deformity,” “birth defect,” “abnormality” and related words, except when describing a specific physical detail or a clinical scenario that is relevant to the story’s news value.

In countries where medical experts are scarce, people with cognitive or intellectual disabilities are often assumed to suffer from a mental illness or disorder. A person with a cognitive disability might also suffer from a mental illness and vice versa, but they are not necessarily linked. In some locations, a physical or cognitive disability might be assumed by local people to be connected to religion or the spiritual realm. Do not repeat unproven beliefs in a way that misleads readers.

Rationale:

Precise medical diagnoses and descriptions are always required to ensure dignity and accuracy.

Dominican Republic

Rule:

For stories published in English, use “Dominican Republic,” or “DR” on second reference. Do not use “the” to precede the name of the country except in quotes. For stories published in Spanish, use “la RD” because of the grammar requirements of the language.

Rationale:

Precise references serve reader clarity.

DRC

This is a deviation from AP Style.