Inclusive storytelling chapter added to AP Stylebook

by Nicole Meir, media relations manager on April 18, 2022

During a panel at the ACES: The Society for Editing national conference in San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, Stylebook editor Paula Froke announced that the latest edition of AP Stylebook will include a new chapter on inclusive storytelling.
The guidance is immediately available to AP Stylebook Online subscribers and will be included in the new print edition of the Stylebook, set to be published on June 1.

The new inclusive storytelling chapter emphasizes the importance of inclusive reporting and editing in ensuring accuracy and fairness, and offers guidance to recognize and overcome unconscious biases; use thoughtful and precise language; include necessary context and background; avoid tokenism; and make content accessible. 

Many new and revised Stylebook entries contain guidance relevant to inclusive storytelling, with updates and expansions covering disabilities; race-related coverage; gender, sex and sexual orientation; pronouns; and religion. Some of the entries presented at the meeting include: 

Guidance to use they/them/their as much as possible as a way of accurately describing and representing a person who uses those pronouns for themself.

A new entry on deaf, Deaf, hard of hearing, advising to use the uppercase Deaf for the Deaf culture or Deaf community in references to those who use sign language and have a deeply ingrained sense of community built around the experience of deafness and sign language. Use the lowercase form deaf for the audiological condition of total or major hearing loss, and for people with total or major hearing loss, when relevant to the story. Hard of hearing can be used to describe people with a lesser degree of hearing loss.

A new entry on deadnaming, advising to use a transgender person’s previous name very rarely and only if required to understand the news, or if requested by the person.

New and revised guidance to the Native Americans, American Indians section, including new entries on Indian Country and tribal affiliations.

A new entry on critical race theory, advising to explain the term when used and to not use CRT on later references. 

The AP Stylebook is the definitive resource for journalists and a must-have reference for writers, editors, students and professionals. It provides fundamental guidelines for spelling, language, punctuation, usage and journalistic style, and helps writers and editors in all fields navigate complex and evolving language questions.

Find AP Stylebook on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and online.

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