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The AP Releases 9/11 Style Guide

There are going to be a ton of stories written about 9/11 as the 10th anniversary of the tragedy approaches us, and to assist journalists, the Associated Press has released a reference guide full of facts and tips. As noted by Nieman Journalism Lab, it’s useful yet cold, a reminder of the event presented in a stark, no-nonsense format.

David Minthorn, the AP’s Deputy Standards Editor, said that the style guide’s size is unusual for being tied to a single news story, but 9/11 made it necessary. “This is a momentous occasion, a momentous anniversary. We want to, particularly for our own staff, make sure everybody is conforming to certain spellings and definitions,” he said.

Some items from the guide:

  • Flight 93: Acceptable in first reference for United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed near Shanksville, Pa. Include airline name and context of crash in subsequent references. Flight 93 memorial is acceptable in all references for the Flight 93 National Memorial at the crash site.
  • ground zero: Acceptable term for the World Trade Center site.
  • The Sept. 11 attacks killed nearly 3,000 people: 2,753 in New York. Includes three later deaths from respiratory disease that have since been linked to illnesses caused by the towers’ collapse. 40 in Pennsylvania. 184 at the Pentagon. Total: 2,977 as of July 25, 2011. 2,983 names will be listed on the Sept. 11 memorial, including six who died in the 1993 World Trade Center truck bombing.
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