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The Global Press Style Guide

Search: G

gay, lesbian, homosexual, transgender, transsexual, queer

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

All references to a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity must be specifically relevant to the story’s news angle. Seek explicit permission from sources before publishing details about a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, if publication of those details could result in social or legal persecution. Anonymity is acceptable for sources who fear persecution.

Ensure that all relevant terms, including those related to medical procedures, are used accurately according to local definitions, with descriptive context added for global readers.

Do not use phrases that refer to a gay or alternative lifestyle.

Use transgender rather than transgendered or “a transgender” when referring to sources.

Only use the word transsexual if a source identifies this way.

Rationale:

Terms related to gender identity and sexual orientation vary by location. Sources must be afforded dignity, regardless of the legal and social realities of their home locations, and must have a reasonable expectation that their personal security will be respected.

generational descriptors

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Do not use words and phrases such as millennial, baby boomer or Generation X to describe people born in certain years.

Rationale:

These words and phrases are not globally understood or equally applied, and they force readers to make assumptions about the people so described.

genocide

Rule:

Only use the word genocide to describe a scenario in which a specific group of people are systematically targeted for death based on a characteristic the people in that group share. The definition of genocide is not linked to the number of people at risk.

Mere intent to destroy a group is not a sufficient condition for use of the word genocide. Rather, the word genocide can be accurately used when physical destruction is happening and when there is intent to continue. This scenario might include widespread killings of members of that specific group with impunity, or the forcible prevention of pregnancy and/or childbirth among members of that group.

When entities in that area or scenario agree on the fact that a certain group of people are targeted for physical death, use the word genocide as a descriptor, with an emphasis on precision and accuracy.

Use the word genocide with great care and forethought, ensuring that local people in the area or scenario to which the word is applied have been thoroughly consulted.

Rationale:

Local reporters are uniquely positioned to identify, define and report on instances of genocide in a timely manner.

geographic references

Rule:

Use precise place names, even when a location is not widely known. Add contextual geographic details when necessary for reader clarity. Place names should be verified with local people. For place names that only exist in languages with non-Roman alphabets, confirm an acceptable transliteration with the local reporter.

Do not use continental or otherwise broad geographic references for people, politics, economies or culture. More precise terms are available in every instance.

Broad geographic references, such as sub-Saharan Africa, should be used judiciously when there are consistent units for comparison, such as economic or political commonalities.

For places where location names and boundaries are disputed, that dispute should be noted in the story.

Rationale:

Generalizations or poor transliteration in geographic references can lead to imprecise, misleading or inaccurate coverage.

Example:

Cellphone ownership has eclipsed landline phone ownership across sub-Saharan Africa.

ghetto

Rule:

Do not use the word ghetto to describe an area, except when in quotes or as part of a proper noun. Instead, use words and phrases that precisely describe the conditions of the location.

Rationale:

Using words that do not have precise or consistent usage forces readers to make assumptions and can also deprive sources of dignity.

Global Press

Rule:

Use Global Press to refer to the nonprofit organization as a whole. Use Global Press Institute to refer to the organization’s training program. Use Global Press Journal to refer to the organization’s publication. Only refer to a news product as that of Global Press Journal, not of Global Press.

Rationale:

Entities that carry multiple brands should be referred to with precision.

global warming

Rule:

Use this phrase to describe the increase in average global temperatures.

Do not conflate global warming and climate change.

Rationale:

Precise descriptions of scientific phenomena promote reader clarity.

government bodies/institutional names

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

For names and bodies presented in English, spell the name exactly as the organization spells it. For names not in English but that use the Roman alphabet, use the original language version of the name, followed by a brief description of that body’s function. If the body has its own English name in addition to a local language name, use the English name to ensure reader clarity and use the local language name in the story version in that language. Only translate names in a non-Roman alphabet, indicating that the name was translated by the publication.

Rationale:

Referring to bodies and institutions precisely and accurately promotes reader clarity.

Example:

Eddy Labossiere, an economics professor and president of l’Association Haïtienne des Economistes, an association of Haitian economists, says guildives are a unique element of the Haitian economy. Read this full story from Haiti here.