AP Stylebook Adds New Guidelines for Social Media
Since 1953, the AP Stylebook has been guiding journalists (and arguably public relations professions) to write in a cohesive manner and to ensure consistency throughout all the little nuances of journalistic prose.
Fast forward to 2010 and the AP Stylebook looks drastically different than it did in 1953 and even 1983.
Today, the "journalism bible" wrote another chapter in it's history as it added new social media guidelines, including the official change from “Web site” to “website” and 41 other definitions, use cases and rules that journalists should follow.
Other notable changes include separating out “smart phone” as two words, hyphenating “e-reader,” and allowing fan, friend and follow to be used both as nouns and verbs.
Additionally, the AP defined some acronyms that are commonly used in texting and instant messaging, including ROFL (rolling on floor laughing), BRB (be right back) and G2G (good to go) one actually was new to me: POS (parents over shoulder).
Other terms include “trending,” “retweet” and “unfriend” (“defriend” is also acceptable, though the AP concludes it’s less used).
The AP also offers some basic rules for how social media should and shouldn’t be used by journalists. In those rules, there's a focus on making sure reporters continue to confirm sources and information they find on blogs, tweets and other forms of social media.
The full 2010 AP Stylebook is available on the AP’s website.