AP Style Race

AP Style holds that you can identify by race when it is pertinent. AP Style gives these guidelines for pertinence,

In biographical and announcement stories that involve significant, groundbreaking, or historic events, such as being elected U.S. president, being names to the U.S. Supreme Court or other notable events.

  • Barack Obama is the first black U.S. president.
  • Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Jeremy Lin is the first American-born NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese decent.

For suspects sought by the police of missing person cases using police or other credible, detailed descriptions. Such descriptions apply for all races. The racial reference should be removed when the individual is apprehended or found.

When reporting a demonstration or disturbance involving race or such issues as civil rights or slavery.

In other situations with racial overtones, use news judgment.

Do not use racially derogatory terms unless they are part of a quotation that is essential to the story.

See also AP Style Obscenities, Profanities, Vulgarities and AP Style Nationalities and Race.

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