Friday, October 27, 2006

Associated (with terrorism) Press: Fair and Balanced 'Style'

My ears perked up during a recent broadcast on the WSYX-6 TV news - Mark Hyman's The Point was discussing the AP Stylebook:

AP Stylebook
Words are powerful. Specific words can lend meaning -- accurately or inaccurately -- to a subject.

The Associated Press Stylebook is a popular guidebook for journalists recommending everything from word usage to punctuation.

News reporting is supposed to be unbiased. The AP Stylebook supposedly recommends words and styles that maintain neutrality in reporting subject matter. It is that last point that draws attention to the AP Stylebook regarding how to address the abortion issue. There are so many terms in use: pro-life, pro-choice, pro-abortion, anti-abortion, and the list goes on.

The AP Stylebook states journalists should "Use 'anti-abortion' instead of 'pro-life' and 'abortion rights' instead of 'pro-abortion' or 'pro-choice'." Generally, if something is "anti-" it is viewed as a negative. Using the term "abortion rights" implies the "rights" are valid. Pro-life supporters would disagree with that premise.

The AP is wrong in its recommendations. The terms "pro-choice" and "pro-life" pretty much give equal standing to both sides of the debate. Can you imagine the howls of protest if the AP suggested "pro-life" and "anti-life"? And if the AP suggests "anti-abortion" is correct it would then have to pick "pro-abortion" for the other side of the debate. But it doesn't. That's because the AP has chosen sides in the abortion debate.

I paid attention to this editorial because I work in the printing & publishing biz -- I've been using the AP Stylebook since I was in journalism school way back in the 1970's. It's sort of a 'bible' for writers, editors, journalists-- anyone needing standardization or clarification on things like spelling and capitalization.

After hearing Mr. Hyman's editorial, I decided to check it out myself. Sure enough, right there in black-and-white, is the reference to 'abortion' exactly as he described it:

This falls right in line with the events that were happing in the Israeli/Palestine conflict over the past several months. AP reporters and photographers were accused of falsifying stories and staging photographs to make the plight of the poor widdle Palestinians being attacked by Israel much more harsh than it actually was.

I thought perhaps, that was an isolated incident, of Palestinian/Hezbollah supporters being hired to cover the story. Apparently, the Associated (with terrorism) Press has a different agenda than just reporting the news.

The lefties have infiltrated everything! Is nothing sacred?

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