Friday, May 16, 2008

AP Style Changes - Nationality, Ethinicity, etc

A while back, say February, AP came through with a bunch of style changes dealing with ethnicity, nationality, etc. Andy Bechtel has handled several at The Editor's Desk, but for the record, here are all of them:

Acceptable for an American black person of African descent. Black is also acceptable. The terms are not necessarily interchangeable. People from Caribbean nations, for example, generally refer to themselves as Caribbean-American. Follow a person's preference. See nationalities and races, and race entries. (see also "black")

A person of Asian birth or descent who lives in the U.S. When possible, refer to a person's country of origin. For example: Filipino-American or Indian-American. Follow the person's preference. See nationalities and race, and race entries.

Acceptable for a person of the black race. (Use Negro only in names of organizations or in quotations.) Do not use colored as a synonym. See colored, nationalities and races, and race entries.

Sometimes used by Mexican-Americans in the Southwest. Not interchangeable with Mexican-American. Use only if a person's preference. See Hispanic, Latino, nationalities and races, and race entries.

A term used to refer to original inhabitants of a place. Aboriginal leaders welcomed a new era of indigenous relations in Australia. Bolivia's indigenous peoples represent some 62 percent of the population. See nationalities and races, and race entries.

Often the preferred term for a person from -- or whose ancestors were from -- a Spanish-speaking land or culture or from Latin America. Latina is the feminine form. Follow the person's preference. Use a more specific identification when possible, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Brazilian or Mexican-American. See Hispanic, nationalities and races, and race entries.

nationalities and races
Capitalize the proper names of nationalities, peoples, races, tribes, etc.: Arab, Arabic, African, American, Caucasian, Cherokee, Chinese (both singular and plural), Eskimo (plural Eskimos), French Canadian, Japanese (singular and plural), Jew, Jewish, Nordic, Sioux, Swede, etc.
See race for guidelines on when racial identification is pertinent in a story.
Use derogatory terms only in direct quotes when essential to the story and flag the contents in an editor's note.

Native American
Acceptable for those in the U.S. Follow the person's preference. Where possible, be precise and use the name of the tribe: He is a Navajo commissioner. In stories about American Indians, such words or terms as wampum, warpath, powwow, teepee, brave, squaw, etc., can be disparaging and offensive. See nationalities and races, and race entries.

Orient, Oriental
Do not use when referring to East Asian nations and their peoples. Asian is the acceptable term for an inhabitant of those regions. Oriental rug is standard. See nationalities and races and race.

Saudi Arabia
Use Saudi as the adjective in referring to the people or culture of Saudi Arabia. It's Saudi diplomacy, not Saudi Arabian diplomacy. For the Saudi monarchy, follow the style on British and other monarchies. Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal would be Prince Saud on first reference and Saud on second reference.

tribe, tribal
Refers to a group in a traditional society that is made up of linked families or communities sharing a common ancestry or culture. Use sparingly. Ethnic group is preferred. See the nationalities and races entry.

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