The Only Style a Journalist Can Have is AP

Can a journalist have a writing style? Can journalists have a comical tone? Do journalists have the freedom of writing like other writers? The answer is no.

Journalists are bound by tons of rules because if a journalists ever appeared to have a comical tone, they may appear biased. If a journalist ever appears biased, their audience may not trust or listen to them.

The job of a journalist is to tell their audience the truth about what is going on. They need to know both sides of the story and if a journalist is biased, their audience won’t get the entire story.

The only style a journalist can adopt is the Associated Press Style. Many newspapers and magazines all across the globe use AP style.

It is very rare that journalist can take on a style of their own. Some online web publications let journalists write freely, but it can be argued that journalists who are have a style of their own and a tone of their own, are not actually journalists.

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4 thoughts on “The Only Style a Journalist Can Have is AP

  1. adlere353 April 22, 2015 / 1:40 am

    It’s good to have high standards for journalists–like that they should all conform to that AP style and therefore can not interpreted as biased–but every human being is biased. To assume that anyone is not biased is ridiculous, and even if that person is not particularly biased one way or another, chances are his or her boss is. I think it would almost be good if journalists relaxed a little and let people know that they have a bias. Then readers would know that the journalist is leaning toward one side instead of having to infer it from omitted facts, misleading reporting, or selective reporting.

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  2. courtneycalderon April 23, 2015 / 1:08 am

    This is a very interesting perspective. The AP style book exists as a bible of sorts to journalistic writers. It’s meant to show the exact way to phrase words, which words to choose, how to punctuate them and so on. While I do agree that this is a very professional way to do it (and some journalists do manage do abide by the rules), I think the best journalists put a little of their own style into their articles.

    Some of the most respected journalists in the industry are incredibly biased. While they still stick to the AP style of writing for the most part, they throw in their own flair as well. I personally wouldn’t want to read articles that are carbon copies of each other. I like to be able to tell journalists apart by reading their work and not even having to look at the name. Maybe I’m just interpreting what it means to be a journalist incorrectly, but I think I’d rather have it that way than articles with no personality.

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  3. Shane O'Donnell April 23, 2015 / 2:25 am

    I’m going to have to respectfully disagree here. There is no way that a good journalist is one who simply sticks to AP style, and keeps her/his own personal style out of the writing. That type of writing would be absurdly boring, and almost no one would read it.

    I get that most journalists do have to stick to telling a story, and keeping the facts as they are, but there is still a place for style.

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  4. sdomingu1117 April 26, 2015 / 2:46 am

    I think journalists have to abide by AP guidelines in order to be taken seriously in the industry. However, in today’s ever changing society, I think that journalism might be changing in regards to having a personal style or voice. People want to connect with their writers and this can be seen on Twitter or Blog sites. More than ever, we want to get to know the people behind the article. Having your own voice and opinion might be more beneficial in today’s society. Even news sources and journalists who work there, tend to have this biased articles. When I read CNN articles, I already think that those articles will be biased but I still want to read their opinions on the matter. Having a voice or style, or opinion doesn’t change the facts but it does make for a more interesting article. At least that’s my opinion.

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