Associated Press datelines from Crimea will no longer be followed with a comma and the word Ukraine. But Russia’s not taking Ukraine’s place, either.
On Wednesday, Tom Kent, deputy managing editor and standards editor of the AP, wrote that “Ukraine no longer controls Crimea, and AP datelines should reflect the facts on the ground.”
From now on, following the location in Crimea, Kent wrote, will be a comma and the word Crimea. And it sounds like that’s going to be true going forward.
The reason is that Crimea is geographically distinct from Russia; they have no land border. Saying just the city name and “Crimea” in the dateline, even in the event of full annexation, would be consistent with how we handle geographically separate parts of other countries. For instance, we just say “Sicily” and “Sardinia” in datelines — “PALERMO, Sicily (AP)” — even though they are part of Italy, and “Guadeloupe” in datelines even though that island is part of France.