June 1, 2015

The Associated Press on Monday posted, then deleted, a tweet linking to a story about transgender woman Caitlyn Jenner.

“Bruce Jenner makes his debut as a transgender woman in a va-va-voom cover for the July issue of Vanity Fair,” the tweet read.

The tweet prompted instant backlash on social media:

The AP’s revised tweet eschews the male pronoun:

The Associated Press stylebook dictates that news organizations use the pronoun preferred by the individual being described:

Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.

In an April interview with Diane Sawyer, Jenner asked to be referred to using male pronouns. Vanity Fair’s story uses female pronouns to describe Caitlyn Jenner, an indicator of her pronoun preference.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

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