AP Issues Situational Style Guide for 9/11 Anniversary

Style GuideAssociated Press is known for its style guide to help journalists decide between "smart phone" and "smartphone," but now the organization has created something new: a so-called "situational stylebook" in preparation for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The Sept. 11 Style and Reference Guide may ensure that journalists writing about the events conform to certain standards, for example, "twin towers" (lowercase) and al-Qaida (pronounced al-KY'-ee-duh).

In addition to promoting consistency in writing style, the guide will help journalists accurately report about 9/11-related events. The guide includes common sense advice such as this:

"Do not make up names, however. There is no Boston Airport, for example. The Boston airport (lowercase airport) would be acceptable if for some reason the proper name, Logan International Airport, were not used."

The guide's timeline of events is also helpful; after all, it has been a decade since the events, and memories fade.

Discussion Starters:

  • Looking at the AP Sept. 11 Style and Reference Guide, which advice do you think will be most important for people reporting about the 9/11 anniversary? 
  • Does any of the advice surprise you? Why?
  • For what other situations or events do you think a situational style guide might be useful?