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BBC Style Guide

Posted on August 26, 2003 at 10:02 AM in Not Australia | Permalink

The BBC has a News StyleGuide (PDF) for their journalists. It would be great if any news agency, including the BBC, actually followed it's recommendations.

Some amusing highlights include where the guide defines certain words & phrases for clarity:

Evacuate. The rule used to be that only places or buildings were evacuated, not people (unless they had been given an enema).This is at odds with common usage so let the people be evacuated.
Go missing is inelegant and unpopular with many people, but its use is widespread. There are no easy synonyms. Disappear and vanish do not convince and they suggest dematerialisation, which is rare.
Admissions of responsibility. There is nothing responsible about terrorist attacks on civilian targets. Prefer terrorists say they planted the bomb or did it.
Bad news/good news. Avoid using either of these. They are subjective terms. Rain might be good news for the farmer, but bad news for the holidaymaker; interest rates going up is bad news for borrowers, possibly good news for savers. But an asteroid heading for earth could reasonably described as bad news for everyone.

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