News in the digital age comes in short — often very short — bursts, straight to our mobile phones, smart watches, tablets and computer screens. Sometimes these short takes are all an audience will read, not the longer story that follows. That’s why we need to get them right.
AP policy on reporting suicides, spelled out in the AP Stylebook, is “to not go into detail on the methods used.” There has been a robust discussion in our newsrooms about what this means — how far do we go in discussing methods of suicide by celebrities? Are we depriving readers of essential information on a story if we are too opaque?
President Donald Trump’s comment yesterday referring to “shithole” countries sparked discussion and reflection in our Washington and New York newsrooms, and around the world, as to when to use expletives and vulgar language in our news report.