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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 with living with AIDS. Use simple verbs such as is or has to indicate that a person, for example, is diabetic or has cancer.

Rationale:

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

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 promote reader clarity and source dignity.

Mongolian Datelines

Rule:

Add province (aimag) names to datelines from Mongolia for stories that do not originate in the capital. The province name should follow the city or town (soum) name and precede the country name.

Example: MURUN, KHUVSGUL PROVINCE, MONGOLIA

Stories reported from the capital should only include the city and country, as the capital does not belong to any province.

Example: ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA

Rationale:

Mongolia is divided into 21 aimags, or provinces, which are administrative subdivisions. Provinces are further divided into 330 soums, which often have duplicative names across provinces, making a reference only to a soum and the country insufficient to pinpoint the location of news value.

Precise references promote reader clarity.

Mongolian Names

Rule:

Refer to human sources by first name on second reference. Do not abbreviate the surname to a single letter, as is often done locally.

Rationale:

In Mongolian naming conventions, the second name, or surname, is the father’s name. So a reference to a source by surname, would be a reference to the source’s father, not the source. The country does not have a practice or a culture of referring to one another by family names.

Precise, culturally appropriate references promote 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.