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The Global Press Style Guide

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economic status

This lists deviations from AP Style.


All references to the economic status of a place or person must be relevant to a story’s news angle.

Describe a country, region or community’s economic status in precise terms, using economic data relevant to a story’s news value. Do not use First World, Second World, Third World, emerging economy, developed world, developing world, Global South or Global North. If a source uses these terms, provide their definitions, with context for a global audience.

Describe a person’s economic status with precision, using descriptions or economic data relevant to the story’s news value. Do not use blue collar, white collar, or working class. When relevant, provide precise descriptions of jobs, including local context and information about pay and working conditions.

When a story or source uses terms in a technical context — such as developed, developing, emerging, low income, middle income, high income or related terms — include definitions for clarity.


Terms describing economic status can vary widely in meaning, be geographically imprecise and define complex communities or individual situations by foreign standards of wealth. Precise descriptions prioritize reader clarity and source dignity.

education systems


Do not assume that all countries use the same systems of education. Primary, secondary, tertiary, high school and college may have different age or grade levels associated with them in different countries. Describe school-aged sources with age and contextual equivalents.


It is inaccurate to define all education systems using standards from a single region or country.


emerging economy/market



Do not use the word ethnic to reference or categorize people in any circumstance.

Instead, choose a context-rich description that clearly and accurately defines the shared characteristic relevant to the story, whether religion, cultural practice, language, race or other trait. Allow sources to self-identify. The term is acceptable in a quote.


The words ethnic and ethnicity, and phrases related to them, are imprecise and often misused. Related phrases, such as ethnic tensions, are often used to generalize complex circumstances including conflict, genocide and racial issues. Readers are not served when a story fails to precisely illuminate those complexities.

European Union/E.U.

This is a deviation from AP Style.


Use E.U. as an abbreviation for European Union, with periods, in headlines and on second reference.


Consistent references to global entities ensure reader clarity.