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The Global Press Style Guide

Search: M

mafia

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Only use this word to describe an organized crime syndicate that self-identifies as such.

Rationale:

Globally, there are multiple groups that identify as mafia, but not all organized crime groups do so.

Mai Mai

Rule:

Use this general term, capitalized and not hyphenated, to refer to nongovernmental, armed groups operating in Democratic Republic of Congo. When referring to a specific Mai Mai group, use that group’s individual name, which generally indicates its leader. Add context for reader clarity. Do not use the word rebel to describe these groups.

Rationale:

This umbrella term is a general reference to armed groups, but each group has its own identity and should be specified. These groups operate in a complex geopolitical environment. Using general language when referring to Mai Mai groups is imprecise and can create chaos and confusion.

medical conditions

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Do not use a person’s medical condition or biological variation as a primary descriptor. Use phrases such as “people with albinism” or “person living with AIDS.” Use simple verbs such as “is” or “has” to indicate that a person “is diabetic” or “has cancer.”

Rationale:

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

Example:

Steven Nyamapfeka’s four youngest children are living with albinism.

metric conversions

Rule:

When using units of measurement, include both the metric and U.S. customary equivalents. Measurement standards in the story’s dateline determine which unit is followed by its equivalent in parentheses.

Rationale:

Include conversions to ensure clarity for all global readers.

militant group

modern

Rule:

Do not use the word modern to describe a person, place or entity that is presumed to be sophisticated or technologically advanced. The word modern refers to time, not innovation.

Do not use as a general reference to the present day or recent past. Instead, use specific time references.

Rationale:

Precise descriptions of people, places, entities and time serve reader clarity and prevent bias.

modern slavery

Rule:

Do not use the term modern slavery to refer to methods of institutional slavery occurring in the present day. Instead, precisely describe the method of slavery, noting that indentured servitude, bonded labor and forced sex work all have unique definitions and consequences. Do not refer to people working in a form of slavery as victims or survivors. Precisely describe the local legal context in which the situation is occurring.

Rationale:

Precise, context-rich references are required for source dignity and reader clarity.

movie ratings

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Use the local rating system in the country specified in the dateline. Do not default to ratings of the Motion Picture Association of America.

Rationale:

Movie rating systems are not universally accepted or applied.