“I’m not sure everyone’s OK with news media keeping up with the latest vulgarities,” AP standards editor Tom Kent writes in a post on the suddenly kind of hot topic of whether news organizations should publish profanity. “For instance, if our stories were as laced with things ‘sucking’ as common speech is, readers might find it very tedious very fast.”
AP now prints “damn” and “hell” without occasioning any pearl-clutching, Kent notes. And it will usually hyphenate or bleep newsworthy profanity, like when Vice President Biden called the health-care law “a big fucking deal” (a word Kent reproduces in all its glory). So why worry so much, AP?
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We believe most AP subscribers — web and mobile news sites, broadcasters and newspapers — still want certain obscenities obscured.