Staff Manual and Stylesheet
I. Spectator Mission II. Organizational Structure
The mission of the McPherson College Spectator is The Spectator is published by the Student Govern-
twofold: 1) To serve and enhance the campus ment Association of McPherson College. Its policies
community by providing an informed and responsible are determined by the Board of Publications. Modest
forum for campus news and student voices and 2) To salaries are paid to the editor-in-chief, page editors,
provide an experience where students can learn about advertising sales manager, advertising design and
the civic role of journalism and practice the range of layout manager, and business manager, all of whom
skills required of professional journalists. are the employees of SGA. In addition, reporters and
photographers are compensated on a per-story/
The vision for the Spectator is to manifest in its
journalistic practices the nine elements of journalism
identified by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel in their Editorial Staff
landmark work, The Elements of Journalism (Three
Rivers Press, 2001). The Spectator is fulfilling both The Editorial Staff is the decision-making body of The
parts of its statement of mission when the following Spectator. Members include all salaried editors, the
statements are true: business manager, the advertising managers, and the
faculty adviser (without vote).
The Spectator’s first obligation is to the truth.
Its first loyalty is to students and members of the Salaried staff are subject to review by the Editorial
campus community. Board if they fail to perform their duties. By majority
Staff members practice a discipline of vote, the Editorial Staff may recommend to the Board
verification. of Publications the dismissal of any salaried staff
Staff members maintain an independence from member. The staff is responsible for recommending a
those they cover. replacement for a vacated position.
The Spectator remains an independent monitor
When questions concerning the publication of
controversial material, the coverage of sensitive
It must provide a public forum for criticism and
stories, or the editorial position in the lead editorial box
arise, a majority vote of the Editorial Staff will be the
It makes the significant interesting and relevant.
deciding factor. The faculty adviser may veto the
Reporting is comprehensive and proportional.
decision, but the team may overrule the adviser with a
Staff members are allowed to exercise their
Staff Organization assigning reporters to stories
Editor-in-Chief designing pages
writing headlines and cutlines
The editor-in-chief is the administrative head of the producing pages in Adobe InDesign®
Spectator staff. He or she is responsible for consulting with the photography editor
managing the Spectator office space concerning photo assignments and sizes for
all communication regarding staff meetings planned layout.
planning and conducting staff meetings It is also assumed that section editors will occasionally
handling concerns of reporters, photographers, contribute articles to their pages.
and page editors about matters that affect the
satisfactory and timely production of the paper. Section editors, in consultation with the editor-in-chief,
decide the acceptability of any components of their
The editor-in-chief works closely with section editors pages, but final authority and responsibility lie with the
and the photography editor in all phases of paper editor-in-chief (in consultation as requested with the
production, including faculty adviser).
planning stories to be covered for each issue
assigning reporters and photographers to
specific stories The photography editor has responsibility for all
editing copy aspects of producing photographs for the Spectator,
designing pages including
selecting and cropping photos
managing all aspects of the photography
writing headlines and cutlines
equipment owned by the Spectator
submitting the final publication to the printer.
planning photo shoots in consultation with the
The editor-in-chief carries the authority to make final section editors
decisions concerning the acceptability of any giving photographers assignments
component of the paper. The editor-in-chief may—but taking photos
but is not required to—consult the faculty adviser on developing film
difficult or controversial decisions. cropping photos
digitally editing and preparing photos for print.
It is assumed that the editor-in-chief will frequently
contribute writing to the Spectator, especially in the Advertising Sales Manager
areas of news analysis and opinion (although personal
interest can dictate the kind of writing contributed). The ad sales manager is the Spectator's
representative in the McPherson business community.
In addition, the editor-in-chief oversees the business He or she is responsible for soliciting enough
aspects of the Spectator. He or she advertising to keep the Spectator’s agency account
works with the advertising sales manager to solvent. Responsibilities include
ensure the sale of adequate ads for each issue distributing display advertising contracts at the
works with the advertising design manager to beginning of each semester to all potential
ensure the appropriate and timely completion of advertisers, either in person or by mail
ads for each issue soliciting the required quota of advertising for
works with the business manager to ensure each issue through contracts and periodic sales
financial records are accurately maintained, calls
subscriptions promptly filled and accounts clearly and effectively communicating ad-
professionally handled. vertisers' ideas and needs for display ads
Section Editors accurately and on time to the advertising design
and layout manager
The Spectator staff includes four section editors: the providing advertisers with proofs, as requested.
news editor, opinions editor, campus life editor and
sports editor. Section editors carry lead responsibility
for two pages per issue, including:
planning stories and photos for their section
Advertising Design and Layout Manager Satisfactorily cover any assigned beats
Follow the Spectator Stylesheet and AP
The ad design and layout manager, in consultation Stylebook
with the editor-in-chief and the faculty adviser, carries Prepare copy in the manner prescribed in this
creative control over all Spectator advertising. His or manual.
her major responsibilities include
Staff members who are enrolled in an EN 315
meeting the requests of advertisers for their Journalism Practicum must confer with the faculty
display ads adviser about additional requirements.
preparing proofs of ads as requested for
advertisers to approve before publication Faculty Adviser
planning with the ad sales manager and the
The faculty adviser for the Spectator is an educator
photography editor the photos needed for
appointed by the dean of the faculty in cooperation
upcoming display ads
with the Department of English. Her role is to provide
preparing digital files ready for placement on
an ethical, encouraging environment where students
desktop publisher pages and transferring those
learn and practice sound journalistic principles.
ads to the editor-in-chief.
One way advisers fulfill their educational responsibility
Business Manager is by serving as a resource that students can consult.
The business manager cares for the financial records This advisory role, however, is precarious because it
and all business matters of the Spectator except for can easily conflict with students’ right to free
the sale of advertisements. The major responsibilities expression. The student press carries all the rights,
are privileges, and responsibilities granted by the First
Amendment, and prior review is unconstitutional. The
caring for all matters related to subscriptions, critical factor here is that the students must initiate the
including selling and billing subscribers and dialogue; an adviser may offer suggestions when her
labeling and mailing subscribers' papers input is overtly sought.
billing advertisers and collecting on bills
receiving bills and submitting them to the college The adviser must teach without censoring, editing,
Business Office for payment designing, directing or producing. Thus, a prickly
keeping the books reality in student journalism is that much of the
maintaining records of writers' and learning derives from lessons learned from mistakes.
photographers' strings for payment This is uncomfortable because journalism is a
requesting string payments from the college relatively unforgiving profession and news readers are
Business Office unforgiving consumers. It is these same high ex-
pectations, however, that make post-publication
Staff Writers and Photographers learning experiences so effective. Publication critiques
Staff reporters and photographers are extremely are another way advisers meet their obligations as
important and fully accountable members of the educators.
Spectator staff. Their writing load may vary from issue A more detailed discussion of the adviser’s role can be
to issue (and depending upon whether they are found at College Media Adviser’s Code of Ethics
enrolled for academic credit). Some flexibility in (http://www.collegemedia.org).
assignments is possible when arrangements are
appropriately made in advance with section editors Spectator Office
and/or the editor-in-chief. Editors will try to give staff
The Spectator office is located in Beeghly Hall 204 at
members the types of assignments they prefer;
the far south end of the second-floor hallway. The
however, both reporters and photographers can
office is locked, but keys are issued to each editor and
expect to receive a wide range of assignments.
manager. Reporters who need access to the
Whether or not they are enrolled for credit, staff Spectator office may contact any of the paid-position
reporters and photographers are expected to staff.
Attend all staff meetings The editor-in-chief is in charge of the office, and
Satisfactorily complete stories or photo shoots editors and reporters and other staff members share in
by the assigned deadline
the responsibility of keeping the office a productive looking interface that is much easier to use than
place to work. the old system, Taylor said.
“Last year, I felt like I was trying to use a
The Spectator and Academic Credit
system that was way outdated,” said Riley
Students may receive one hour of academic credit per Miller, sr., Rocky Ford, Colo. “This looks and
semester for their work on the Spectator. Students feels like the best search engines on the Web.”
who desire credit may enroll for any of the EN 315 That is the news--the fresh report that
journalism practica, which include reporting, editing, emphasizes the impact for our readership.
design and layout, advertising management, and
photojournalism. Students enrolled for credit have Sports stories are especially susceptible to
slightly more stringent requirements than those recounting outdated events. Unless a recent
outlined in this manual. For additional expectations, game was a victory or loss of particular
see the practica syllabi. importance, leads in sports stories should
usually feature the upcoming match(es) or the
next game of real magnitude.
III. Staff Manual
News Is Accurate and Unbiased
What Is News? No obligations of the journalist are more important
than accuracy and truthtelling. Every staff member
News is a fresh report of events, facts or others’
bears responsibility for seeing that information printed
opinions that is important or helpful for readers to
in the Spectator is correct and fairly represents the
News Has Impact and Relevance
The following practices constitute a discipline of
Probably the biggest problem faced by the staff of a bi- verification that can assure the most accurate stories
weekly paper is providing its readers the fresh reports. possible.
A staff can employ two tactics to fight this problem:
Confirm with sources any quotation that is
Load the issue with advances instead of reports controversial or about which there is any
about past events. Students already know about question of accuracy.
what last week’s Mohler said. They can be truly Double-check copy against documentary
informed, however, by an article about next information; or, when documentary evidence
week's Religious Heritage lecturer and perhaps does not exist, confirm facts with two
have their interest piqued enough to look independent sources.
forward to the speech. Strive to get all sides of an issue, no matter how
Assess past events or actions to determine their difficult or controversial.
current or future impact. Then, feature this Don’t cover events or activities that you are
impact prominently in the story's lead. Compare involved in. (For example, an SGA member
the following leads, for example: shouldn’t cover a story about SGA.)
Avoid quoting friends. Make every effort to
Miller Library installed new software for its on-
interview those who rarely if ever appear in the
line catalog over the summer. The system was
installed during the final weeks of August and
was up and running by the time classes started Guidelines for Writers
on Aug. 28.
Responsibility to Staff
Library staff and returning students are praising Nothing—absolutely nothing—is more critical to the
the new, user-friendly software they are now success and morale of a news organization than staff
using to access the library’s on-line catalog. writers who will do what it takes to get a good story
"Students really seem to appreciate the and turn it in by deadline. Conversely, nothing
faster search returns and the new look,” said demoralizes a staff more than writers who fail to do
Susan Taylor, director of library services, earlier justice to the assignment and who submit copy late.
this week. The screen is now a professional- Editors pay a huge emotional and physical price for
the irresponsibility of others.
Reporters must do whatever is necessary to get a Be open about taking notes. The subject wants
story right—interview people they don’t know, make your piece to be correct. If you wish to record the
phone calls at nights or on weekends, revise copy interview, ask your subject’s permission. Do not
more times than they want, and practice the discipline assume they are comfortable with being
of verification described above. You will not only make recorded.
your editors happy; you will make yourself happy. You If there is something you do not understand, ask
can be satisfied with a job well done and reap the for an explanation.
appreciation of your subjects and your readers. Do not rush from question to question. If you
pause deliberately, your subject may continue to
Interviewing talk, providing you with your best information
Interviews are an essential part of getting any story, and best quotes.
and your interviewing skills will have a direct influence End every interview with the question, "Is there
on the quality of your reporting. While interviewing anything I didn't ask that I should have?" You will
subjects in person is more desirable, do not forget that be surprised at what this can elicit, and it gives
the telephone is a quick way to get accurate the subject the feeling that you have been
information for stories. Many subjects, too, will respond thorough.
to e-mail questions, which they can answer with more Off-the-Record: What Does It Mean?
care, on their own schedule, in writing.
If anyone ever makes a comment in an interview with
It is important to follow the guidelines below when you the request that it be "off the record," STOP the
interview persons: interview and find out what your source means. Does
By telephone: she mean:
Be sure you know what you want to ask before Your source never wants to see that comment
you call. Make a list. Talk from notes if this will or information in print?
help. You can report the information if you can keep
Be sure you identify yourself in a business-like the source's identity out of the story?
way to whoever answers. Tell them what you Once you give your word the material will be "off the
are doing, and what you want: record," you must keep your promise.
Hello, my name is Adrielle Harvey, and I'm Never accept information off the record when it
writing an article for the McPherson College belongs on the record. Remarks made at a public
Spectator on the college's fall enrollment meeting such as Student Government, for example,
figures. While I have the numbers, I need some are always on the record, despite requests that they
information on how these numbers compare to be withheld from publication.
previous years. I'd like to talk to Karlene Tyler
about this. Is she in? As a policy, the Spectator does not publish
unattributed quotes or information. If the source asks
Even if your deadline is urgent, respect your to remain anonymous, explain that you cannot report
subjects’ time and ask them, information that can’t be attributed to a named source.
Is this a good time to talk—or could I call Avoiding Libel
back/we make an appointment for a better time?
Here are some general rules about libel:
Then get that appointment for a better time, right
then. You may not damage a person's reputation
without the risk of paying the consequences.
You may be sued if you subject a person to
Write your questions in a notebook to be used public scorn, ridicule, or opprobrium.
especially for interviewing. You might write one You may be sued if you harm persons in their
question at the top of a blank page and then trade, occupation, or profession.
write answers below. It is not necessary to name persons for readers
When interviewing feature story subjects, to be able to identify them. If readers can identify
especially, be aware of unspoken information. the person you are writing about and your
Keep notes on your subjects’ appearance and statements harm her reputation, they are
mannerisms and on the interview setting. libelous even though you never used her name.
Exception: Criticism of the arts (plays, movies, an RTF file. (Every word processor has an RTF, or
books, CDs, exhibits, etc.) is immune, as long as Rich Text Format, mode.)
it is fair, based on fact, and contains no malice,
Reporters may submit stories to their section editor as
and as long as it limits itself to the work, rather
an e-mail attachment. Keep a backup copy of the file
than criticizes the man or woman who created
in case it becomes corrupted in the process of being
forwarded to the editor.
See the "Libel Manual" in The Associated Press
Please follow these guidelines in preparing copy:
Stylebook and Libel Manual for a complete treatment
of libel. At the top your story, type your name exactly as
you want it to appear in your byline. (Page
Covering Beats editors and the editor-in-chief make the final
Many if not most staff members will be assigned determination on whether the byline appears
beats. Beats may change from semester-to-semester, with the story.)
but important beats will generally remain the same. Turn on double-spacing. (It’s easier for you and
They include your editor to proofread.)
Keep paragraphs short. Journalistic paragraphs
President’s Office Student Government are average two sentences and almost never
Provost/Academic Dean Student Activities Board exceed three sentences.
Advancement Theatre Do not split (hyphenate) words at the ends of
Business Office Auto Restoration lines. If your word processor automatically
Admissions Music divides words, disable the feature.
Facility Management Business Club Omit commas before the conjunction in a series
Campus Ministry/ Student Services of three or more sentence elements.
Counseling Creative Arts Society Do not use tabs to indent paragraphs. Editors
Faculty Friendship Art Exhibits must strip them out before placing them into the
Once you have been assigned a beat, find out all you desktop publisher. This consumes precious time
can about it. at editing sessions and introduces errors.
Space only once after periods at the end of
Go to the source of information suggested, sentences. These, too, must be stripped from
introduce yourself, and tell that person you have copy by editors.
his/her beat for the semester and want to know On matters of style, writers should be guided first
all you can about their functions. Learn who’s in by this stylesheet (see section IV) and second
this office/department. (Secretaries are often the by the AP Stylebook.
best sources of information.) Meet all deadlines, or explain to your editor 48
Get any handbooks or information that office hours in advance why your deadline will not be
puts out. Be sure to get put on the met.
distribution list for all agendas, minutes,
announcements, or policies that the office Writing Straight News
The inverted pyramid is the basic design for most
Find out the best time to talk with the sources
straight news stories. The most important facts are
and touch base with them at that time on a
blurted out in the first paragraph (the lead), and the
regular basis—perhaps during the week after
reporter works his way down to and through the least
publication of an issue of the Spec.
Discuss any potential stories with your section
editor or the editor-in-chief to confirm that you The purpose of the inverted pyramid is to put the facts
should pursue the story or that it should be in order of decreasing importance. Thus, if the reader
assigned to another staff writer. reads only the first few paragraphs of a story, chances
are she has read the most important parts of the story.
The inverted pyramid is also a tool for your page
Reporters should prepare copy on a word processor, editors. Frequently, they will have to cut copy as they
preferably Microsoft Word®. If you are using some design their pages. When reporters effectively use the
word processor other than Word®, save your work as inverted pyramid, page editors can cut the last
paragraphs of a story, knowing these are the least In its most basic form, the editorial follows a rather
important parts of a report. predictable pattern.
Newswriting consists of the five Ws and the H: The editorial writer first establishes the "news
peg," that is, the timely information or issue on
WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW
which the editorial is based. The problem or
Each news story must answer as many of the five Ws situation posed by the news peg is explained,
and the H as possible. and the writer's position clearly stated.
An analysis of the situation follows, examining
Newswriting is lead writing. The lead is not only the
the facts and details in a way that reveals the
first paragraph of a news story, it is the essence of
reasoning behind the editorialist's opinion.
what you know about that event, written crisply and
The editorial usually re-emphasizes the writer's
position and then offers a solution, backed with
There are always several good ways to write a lead, arguments suggesting the rightness of the
but usually one best way for each story—the way that solution.
gets the most interesting or the most important news The editorial always ends with a strong
into the first few words of the lead. (See the entry statement—often the strongest statement in the
under leads in the stylesheet.) editorial.
Editorials need not always be serious. With a
Writing Features lighter touch, one can entertain at the same time
What is a feature story? Whatever works. Many he or she teaches, criticizes, praises, or defends.
features are based on dramatic situations, such as the Letters to the Editor Policy
football player with the career-ending injury. Others are
based on the unique, such as the student with a pet The Spectator's editorial pages provide a public forum
boa constrictor in his dorm room. Others are based on for student opinion. Through letters to the editor,
overlooked, common occurrences, such as cleaning students may air concerns, opinions, and suggestions.
the bathrooms in the dorms, students who go home on
The following policy guides the publication of all letters
to the editor and should be printed in full in the first
There is no feature "formula," as there is in straight issue of each semester.
newswriting (and, to a lesser extent, editorial writing).
All letters will be handled by the editors.
A feature is a longer article, usually 500 words or
The Spectator does not publish letters to which
more, that tells the facts truthfully, but in which the
authors will not attach their names except in the
story is in the telling as much as in the facts.
extraordinary circumstances where the writer’s
The greatest danger in a feature is that its emphasis safety or privacy is endangered.
upon the way the story is written will lead the writer to Editors reserve the right to edit letters to correct
use florid phrases, clichés and generalities. inaccuracies, excessive wordiness, unnecessary
vulgarity or poor taste, and potentially libelous
The success of a feature depends upon the quality of
statements. If changes of any consequence are
information gathered; attention to word choices;
made, editors will notify the writer to see if he or
understated, detailed descriptions and anecdotes;
she prefers to withdraw the letter.
and, an organization of materials that effectively
Letters to the editor may be attached in e-mail to
moves the reader to an informed viewpoint about the
email@example.com or dropped
in campus mail addressed to the Spec. The final
Writing Editorials deadline is Monday before the Fridays on which
a paper is published.
An editorial is a brief essay, usually 300 words or less,
expressing a carefully reasoned position or opinion on As a matter of practice, the opinions editor or the
a recent issue. Ideally, a Spectator editorial will inform editor-in-chief must confirm the authorship of all letters
and lead student opinion. It will interpret current submitted for publication.
campus news to students and point out its
significance. Editorialists can take at least four different
approaches: teaching, attacking, defending, or
buildings In the first reference, use the campus
IV. Stylesheet building's full name. (Exception: Center for Sport
and Physical Education, which may be referred to
Spectator staff members should always refer first to as the Sport Center on first reference.)
the guidelines in this stylesheet. If the relevant
On second reference, Hall may be properly dropped
guidelines are not listed here, defer to the AP
from a name, or a building may be referred to
Stylebook. Entries followed by [AP] are fully consistent
generically, for example, the union or SU, the
with AP style. All others entries represent guidelines
gazebo, the stadium. The correct first references and
unique to the Spectator.
spellings of campus buildings are
abbreviations, organizations On first reference,
use an organization's full name. Do not follow it
with an abbreviation or acronym in parentheses or
set off by dashes. If an abbreviation or acronym is
not clear on second reference, do not use it.
abbreviations, classes In student identifications Hess Fine Arts Center
(see identification, student entry), use the Hoffman Student Union
abbreviations fr., soph., jr. and sr. In all other McPherson Stadium
situations, spell them out. Melhorn Science Hall
See also entries under days of the week, months,
states, Student Council, times, titles
attributions Always clearly identify the source of Mingenback Theatre
quotations (and paraphrased quotations) in your Mohler Hall
copy. In general, the verb said is the best verb of Morrison Hall
attribution. It is not weakened by repetition. In Sport Center
straight news stories, be especially careful that Templeton Hall
synonyms of attribution such as admitted,
Coach / coach Coach is frequently used in sports
disclosed, conceded, offered, explained, etc., do
stories as a formal title before the names of
not give a quotation an editorial tone.
persons who direct athletic teams. In such cases it
As a rule, attributions should follow quotes or is capitalized: Coach David Cunningham, Coach
paraphrases and be in subject-verb order; Stephenson, Coach Trimmell.
however, in the case of first-reference sources that
Do not capitalize coach when it is modified in any
require an identifying appositive, the attribution is
way or set off from a name by commas: defensive
best in verb-subject order. On first reference, for
coach Les Whiteman; the coach, Roger Trimmell,
was charged with a technical foul.
"Students really seem to appreciate the faster
In stories not on the sports pages, college
search returns and the new look,” said Susan
personnel who are coaches should be referred by
Taylor, director of library services.
their academic titles. See the entry identification,
But on second reference, faculty & staff.
"Students really seem to appreciate the faster college When referring to McPherson College
search returns and the new look,” Taylor said. generically, use the college with lowercase "c."
When quotes exceed a single sentence in length, commas Omit the comma before and or or in a
attributions should be placed at the end of the first series. For example,
The Spectator lab includes eight computer stations,
“Last year, I felt like I was trying to use a system two scanners and a large-format printer.
that was way outdated,” said Riley Miller, sr., Rocky
Use commas around years only a month and date
Ford, Colo. “This looks and feels like the best
are given, for example, on Feb. 12, 2005, SGA…;
search engines on the Web.”
but, in February 1955, SGA….
See the entry commas in the AP Stylebook for indefinite antecedents, which have traditionally
additional help. taken the masculine singular pronoun. For
course titles See titles, course
Each person has to face his own destiny.
cutlines In general, write the first sentence of a
cutline in present tense. Write all other sentences in Possible solutions, in order of preference are:
the past tense.
1) Change the antecendent so that it can take a
If student subjects in a photograph are identified in plural, neuter pronoun:
an accompanying story, class and hometown
All persons have to face their own destiny.
identification is not needed. However, follow the
identification style for students outlined in the entry 2) Rewrite the sentence to avoid the personal
identification, students if they are not identified pronoun altogether:
Each person must face the future; or Each person
days of the week [AP] Capitalize them. Do not must face destiny.
abbreviate, except in tabular format. See also time
3) Alternate the use of the feminine pronoun with
the masculine pronoun to agree with the singular,
full-time Hyphenate it. indefinite antecedent:
headlines In general, news story headlines should Each person has to face her own destiny.
contain a verb. Use the present tense for headlines
4) Use he or she (or his or her.)
about past events. Avoid splitting a phrase or idea
between lines on multiple line headlines. Feature Each person has to face his or her own destiny.
story heads (and some soft news stories packaged
interterm When used in conjunction with a specific
in "display") need not necessarily contain verbs.
year, capitalize it: Interterm 2007. Otherwise, use
The Spectator's headline style is down; that is, all lowercase.
words except the first word in the headline and
leads Strive to make the first three or four words in a
proper nouns begin with a lower case letter, not a
lead the most important words in the story. Avoid
using dates, and times at the beginning of leads.
Homecoming Capitalize it. Do not clutter leads with too many details. For
example, identification of a student can wait for the
identification, students On the first or second
reference to a McPherson College student, identify
students by class and hometown. Abbreviate the McPherson College When referring to McPherson
class. Abbreviate the state if appropriate (see College generically, use the college (lowercase
states entry). If the hometown is in Kansas, omit "c").
the state unless it is necessary to avoid confusion.
midterm Lowercase, no hyphen.
months [AP] Always spell months with five letters or
John Johansen, sr., Pittsburg, Kan., claims . . .
less. Abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov.
but and Dec. when used with a specific date. Spell out
every month when used alone or with a year alone.
Michelle Dalton, soph., Wichita, claims. . . .
When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do
Exception: Do not fully identify students in sports
not separate the year with commas.
stories. If it is important to identify the athlete, do so
in an appositive phrase, for example, newspaper name [AP] Do not place name in
quotes. Capitalize the in a newspaper’s name if that is
Jamie Sims, a sophomore from McPherson,
the way the publication prefers to be known.
scored the first basket.
numerals [AP] In general, spell out whole numbers
inclusive language Be sensitive at all times to
below 10, use figures or 10 and above. Thus,
gender in language. Seek to be concise and
neutral. The greatest difficulties arise in matters of Spell out a numerals at the beginning of a
personal pronoun agreement with singular, sentence. If necessary, rewrite the sentence. There
is one exception—a numeral that identifies a time elements The day a news event occurs usually
calendar year. belongs in the lead, but not at the beginning. In
general, the best placement is as soon as possible
AP style for the use of numbers is complicated. If in
after subjects and simple verbs:
doubt, check the numerals entry in the AP
Stylebook. The Board of Trustees voted Thursday to begin
construction of a new dorm next fall.
President / president [AP] President is Mr. Hovis's
formal title when it precedes his name and is For clarity and grace, however, the time element
capitalized. Do not capitalize it, however, when it should sometimes be moved back (note that the
follows his name. Thus second time element above follows the object) or
preceded by on:
President Ron Hovis said . . .
The Board of Trustees postponed on Thursday
college plans to begin construction of a new dorm
Dr. Paul W. Hoffman, president of McPherson next year.
College, spoke about . . .
In verb forms with auxiliary verbs, the time element
semesters When used in conjunction with a specific usually works best between the auxiliary and the
year, capitalize fall and spring: Fall 2006, Spring main verb:
2007. Use lowercase when the reference is
The time element should sometimes be moved
generic: fall semester, spring semester. See also
back or preceded by on.
Never use both the day and the date. For events
states [AP] The names of eight states are never
less than one week in the past or the future, use
abbreviated: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine,
the day. Do not write yesterday or tomorrow, or last
Ohio, Texas and Utah.
Monday or next Monday. The tense of the verb will
Use the listed AP abbreviation in conjunction with convey past or future. For events more than one
the name of a city or town, except those in Kansas week in the past or future, use the date.
which cannot be confused with a town or city in
times [AP] Use figures except for noon and midnight.
Use the abbreviations a.m. and p.m. and a colon to
Ala. Md. N.Y. separate hours from minutes: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30
Ariz. Mass. Okla. p.m. Do not use constructions with o'clock.
Ark. Mich. Ore.
Be careful to avoid redundancy in time
Calif. Minn. Pa.
expressions. For example, 7 p.m. Thursday, not 7
Colo. Miss. R.I.
p.m. Thursday evening.
Conn. Mo. S.C.
Del. Mont. S.D. titles, academic See the entry identification,
Fla. Neb. Tenn. faculty & staff
Ga. Nev. Vt.
titles, books and compositions [AP] Use
Ill. N.C. Va.
quotation marks to indicate book titles, movie titles,
Ind. N.D. Wash.
play titles, poem titles, song titles, television
Kan. N.H. W.Va.
program titles, and titles of lectures, speeches and
Ky. N.J. Wis.
works of art.
La. N.M. Wyo.
Capitalize the principal words, including
prepositions and conjunctions of four or more
Place one comma between the city and the state
name, and another comma after the state name,
unless ending a sentence. Exception: Do not use quotation marks around the
word Bible or the titles of books that are primarily
Student Government Association Spell it out in
reference works. See AP Stylebook for examples.
first reference in story. The short form is acceptable
in headlines and on second reference. titles, course Capitalize (without quotation marks)
course titles when they are used as proper nouns
terms, academic See the entries for semesters
and match the course titles listed in the academic
catalog or line schedule; for example,
He enrolled in EN 315A Journalism Practicum:
More freshmen enroll in Principles of Biology than
any other course.
tomorrow, yesterday Do not use these time
elements. Use the appropriate day of the week.
Given our Friday publication, that means Saturday
Revised 1 September 2006