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Data journalism chapter debuts in 2017 AP Stylebook


The Associated Press today released the 2017 edition of The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, which includes nearly 200 new or revised entries and a new chapter on data journalism guidance.

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The 2017 Stylebook comprises additions and changes made throughout the year on AP Stylebook Online, such as new guidance announced in March on the use of “they” as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun in some cases.

Among the changes to the 2017 Stylebook are:

  • A new entry on fact checks and fake news, providing guidelines on fact-checking politicians and public officials. The entry also advises not to use the label of fake news on individual news items that are simply disputed; instead, be specific about what is meant.
  • New guidance on the use of cyberattack, stating the term is routinely overused and instead writers should describe the specifics of the damage.
  • A new entry on gender, which includes subentries for cisgender, intersex and gender noncomforming, among other terms, and revisions to LGBT/LGBTQ making both terms acceptable.
  • A new entry on addictions and revised drug-related entries, including guidance to avoid words like abuse, problem, addict and abuser in most uses.
  • A new entry saying that esports is acceptable in all references to competitive multiplayer video gaming.
  • A revised entry recommending the use of Walmart (not Wal-Mart) when writing generally about the company, including Walmart stores. The legal name Wal-Mart Stores Inc. should be included in stories specific to corporate news.

Greatly expanded data journalism guidance is included in a new chapter of the 2017 edition.

Data journalism has become a staple of reporting across beats and platforms, no longer reserved for specialists. Government agencies, businesses and other organizations all communicate in the language of data and statistics. To cover them, journalists must become conversant in that language.  

AP Stylebook editor Paula Froke will answer questions about the new book today (May 31) at 2:30 p.m. EDT in a Twitter chat, using the hashtag #APStyleChat.

At more than 600 pages, the AP Stylebook is widely used as a writing and editing reference in newsrooms, classrooms and corporate offices worldwide. Updated regularly since its initial publication in 1953, the AP Stylebook is a must-have reference for writers, editors, students and professionals. It provides fundamental guidelines for spelling, language, punctuation, usage and journalistic style. It is the definitive resource for journalists.

The AP Stylebook is available in print and digital formats.

The subscription-based AP Stylebook Online is updated throughout the year with the new and revised entries. It includes all Stylebook listings, plus an Ask the Editor feature with extensive archives, a pronunciation guide with phonetic spellings and audio pronouncers, and topical style guides about news events. Users can add their own entries, make notes and get notifications throughout the year when AP’s editors add or update listings.

AP Stylebook & Webster’s New World Online adds 185,000 definitions from Stylebook’s primary dictionary to Stylebook Online’s subscription website. A single search delivers results from both and clearly identifies the source of each entry.  

The 2017 print edition costs $18.35 for AP member news organizations and college bookstores and $22.95 retail. AP Stylebook Online prices are $26 for individual subscribers for one year and $20.80 for news organizations that are AP members. Prices for online site licenses are based on the number of users, starting at $210 for 10 users for a year.

The new print edition and digital subscriptions can be ordered online at

The AP Stylebook is also available as an e-book. The 2016 edition remains available on all major e-book platforms and the 2017 edition is expected to launch soon on Amazon.

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Lauren Easton
Director of Media Relations
The Associated Press

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