The 56th edition of The Associated Press Stylebook has officially been released. This trusted companion of writers and editors around the world is now in its 70th year. While many of the 300 new and revised entries involve the written guide being brought up to speed on the online edition of the style guide, there are also several interesting and noteworthy updates that specifically have to do with current events in our rapidly changing world.
AP Stylebook updates:
Diversity language and guidelines
AP’s editors have greatly expanded and updated the entries related to pronouns, disabilities, immigration, race-related coverage, gender, sex, and sexual orientation. ‘Gypsy’ is no longer to be used in any instance, including in reference to what was previously called the ‘gypsy moth’, now correctly identified as the ‘spongy moth’.
WW2-related internment is now referred to as incarceration
In order to correctly describe both current and past events, AP’s editors are always in dialogue with their audience about how to best write about exactly what happened in history. To that end, what used to be referred to as Japanese internment in the U.S. during WW2 should now be correctly referred to as Japanese incarceration.
Thirty new and updated entries in the religion chapter
Over the years, AP has added topic-specific chapters to their stylebook to help writers and editors stay up-to-date on the latest guidelines for social media, the economy, sports (do you know how to correctly report a baseball score?), religion, media law, and various technical aspects of writing.
The 56th edition includes updates to the African Methodist Episcopal church, Sikhi, and “nones” entries. For more on these topics, click the links to see recently published Bias Busters guides that include these groups from Front Edge Publishing’s partner publisher, the Michigan State University School of Journalism. “Nones” are coming soon!
Consolidated various entries related to cryptocurrency and blockchains
As more and more stories are published about cryptocurrencies, the AP editors saw fit to consolidate the various terms under a central umbrella entry. Of note, ‘bitcoin’ is now lowercase.
The term ‘anti-vaxx’ lacks specificity and should not be used
AP has updated its guidelines to avoid reference to the term ‘anti-vaxx’ when writing about vaccines. The editors explain that ‘anti-vaxx’ is not specific and may result in ambiguity, as it is better to specify which specific vaccines an individual may be protesting or hesitant about, rather than using a catch-all term.
AP continues the conversation online
More and more changes to AP style are made throughout the year, rather than being consolidated in one large print update. The editors encourage reporters and editors to join them online to stay up to date on their efforts. The 56th edition of the stylebook also includes an insightful “behind the scenes” section in which the editors explain how they determine what changes to make to the stylebook. One big reveal: some of the most deliberated changes come from readers who get in touch through the official AP Style Twitter!