fbpx

The Global Press Style Guide

Search: S

seasons

Rule:

Refer to seasons according to the geography of a story’s dateline.

Rationale:

Seasons are determined by geography.

sex worker

Rule:

Use the term sex worker to describe someone who performs sex acts in a transactional exchange for goods, services, power or money. Do not use hooker, whore or other labels that convey moral judgment, unless a sex worker self-identifies as such. Add local legal context when relevant.

Rationale:

Precision is required when referring to controversial or potentially illegal scenarios, to ensure source safety and dignity.

slum/slumlord

Rule:

Do not use the word slum 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.

Do not use slumlord to describe a person who leases or otherwise profits from a property considered to be low-quality.

Rationale:

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

Example:

Despite the government’s numerous efforts to get rid of informal settlements, some have expanded. Now, officials say they are working to bring basic amenities, including water, sewage systems and roads, to some of these densely populated areas, while better regulating land ownership. Read this full story from Zimbabwe on Global Press Journal here.

Spanish names

spokesman/spokeswoman/spokesperson

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

In cases of gendered, official titles such as spokesman, use the formal title even when the gender noted in it does not appear to match the gender of the person holding it.

Rationale:

It’s not appropriate for a news agency to change a person’s official title.

state/U.S. state

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Include country names along with state names.

Rationale:

When writing for a global audience, precise geographic references ensure reader clarity.

suicide

survivor

This is a deviation from AP Style.

Rule:

Do not use the word survivor to describe a person. Instead, use specific context and descriptions to refer to actions or situations.

Rationale:

This word is a general label that lacks precision and forces readers to make assumptions. Use of specific descriptions prioritizes source dignity.

Example:

The group of women meets monthly to discuss how they escaped domestic violence.