Check that AP style: here’s help for politics

You’re writing stories today about Super Tuesday.  And is it Super PAC or super PAC?  AP style calls for the latter.

Well, it’s been, hm, how many years since I had my last AP style quiz in college. Okay, I don’t want to say. And many of us on the broadcast side, who have spent so many years writing for the eye (radio and television) could use a refresher now that we are filing digital stories as well.

Check out this AP advisory for the correct style on political terms.  For example, I’d forgotten, if I ever knew, that first lady is not capitalized, it’s not a title.  We are to capitalize legislature when it comes after a state and thereafter.  It’s fundraiser but front-runner. 

The one I really don’t like is congressman and congresswoman. I think it is important that news organizations model non-sexist terms so I have my students use congressmember.

What difference does it make if you don’t get the capitalization right? As I tell my students, inconsistencies undermine credibility.

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