June 1, 2022

The newest edition of The Associated Press Stylebook, released Wednesday, includes 35 disabilities-related entries and expanded guidance on the usage of they/them/their pronouns.

These Stylebook entries are part of a number of updates including a new chapter on inclusive storytelling, which includes updates on covering disabilities; race; gender, sex and sexual orientation; and religion. The chapter also provides advice on overcoming biases while reporting to ensure accurate and comprehensive coverage.

“Inclusive storytelling should be part of everyday conversations, decision-making and coverage,” the chapter reads. “That means integrating these goals in all aspects of conversations, from the beginning of the story idea to garnering reaction (and more story ideas) after publication.”

The new entries include instructions to capitalize Deaf when referring to the Deaf culture or Deaf community, guidance to use they/them/their as much as possible when referring to people who use those pronouns and the recommendation not to use the abbreviation CRT when referencing critical race theory.

Some of these entries were already presented at the annual ACES: The Society for Editing conference in April. The updated Stylebook, which is in its 56th edition, includes more than 300 new or revised entries.

In addition to the inclusive storytelling chapter, the AP has updated its chapters on social media and web-based reporting, and polls and surveys. The AP also expanded its guidance on immigration and migration with 20 new or revised entries about the subject, including an explanation of the difference between an immigrant and a migrant, as well as a list of the different agencies dealing with immigration and migration.

Here are a few more changes:

  • Marijuana and cannabis can now be used interchangeably.
  • Child-free and childless should not be used.
  • Supervised injection sites, safe injection sites and overdose prevention are all acceptable terms.
  • Journalists should be specific when describing incidents of terrorism and should attribute the term (along with terrorist) to authorities except when referring to historical events that have widely been acknowledged as examples of terrorism.

Correction: While a number of the new entries are related to inclusive storytelling — including entries about disabilities and pronouns — they are not part of the chapter on inclusive storytelling.

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Angela Fu is a reporter for Poynter. She can be reached at or on Twitter @angelanfu.
Angela Fu

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