Jojo Malig


How many style guides do journalists really need?

I remember a fellow journalist telling me how her J-school professor once ordered students to write out the entire AP Stylebook by hand as part of a class project. The exercise, I was told, was designed to help the students memorize the Stylebook entries.

I still wonder how these students reacted after they became professional journalists and found out that not all newsrooms use AP style.

If they went to work for a magazine, they probably had to learn the Chicago Manual of Style. If they work for an online media company, they may have had to learn the Yahoo Style Guide, which covers the basics of writing for Internet and mobile audiences. In most other cases, they would have had to master the various in-house styles that most media companies have and use to ensure uniformity in their content. Read more


Journalists learn what works (& doesn’t work) on Tumblr

Tumblr’s “media evangelist” Mark Coatney recently announced the arrival of big names in the industry that have launched their own tumblelogs, including The Los Angeles Times, Al-Jazeera English and The Guardian. In the past year, more than 160 media organizations, as well as individual journalists,┬áhave started using Tumblr.

So why has the media become so enamored with the micro-blogging platform?

As more journalists use Tumblr, they’re starting to see how it can help them engage with users and reach new audiences. For insights, I interviewed journalists via email about what’s working (and not working), and highlighted some of their key takeaways.

Ease of use

The platform’s primary asset is its simple ease of use, said Michael Cervieri, adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Read more

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Readers, editors recognize (or recognise?) divide between American & British English

British newspaper editors occasionally receive emails from irate readers complaining about how American words and phrases have crept into British dailies.

David Marsh, Guardian production editor, author of its style guide, and the man behind its style guide account on Twitter, said words that have offended the sensibilities of some readers include “lawmakers” (Members of Parliament or MP for the British) and “upscale” (which translates to “upmarket” on the other side of the Atlantic).

The Baltimore Sun’s John McIntyre has also found that Americans complain about “Britishisms.” Not long ago, he recalled a comment made on his blog regarding the word “whinge”:

“The good people of this country not only refuse to learn a little useful Spanish, not only allow foreign languages to drop from the school curriculum, but are also resistant to other variants of English,” McIntyre wrote. Read more