In breaking news, AP’s goals are speed, accuracy and precision.
These goals are best advanced by using detailed, specific language.
Therefore, we feel the best terms for the armed men who took over the wildlife refuge are “armed men,” “armed ranchers” and so forth.
We also continue in each story to make their demands clear: that ranchers and others be free to use the federal lands in question without federal oversight.
We’re trying to avoid terms like “militia” and “militiamen,” though they have appeared in some of our past stories.
AP content must be clear for readers around the world, and “militiamen” may be confusing — readers might think that the people involved are members of a government-sanctioned paramilitary force who are rebelling against government authority.