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August 19, 2010

All In: AP, Which Can't Issue a Stylebook Guidance To Mention Democratic Party Affliation in Stories About Democratic Lawbreaking, Issues An Important New Diktat to Reporters

Some things they get right on:

Associated Press Deputy Managing Editor for Standards and Production Tom Kent sent the following note to the staff about covering the New York City mosque story:

Aug. 19, 2010

Colleagues,

Here is some guidance on covering the NYC mosque story, with assists from Chad Roedemeier in the NYC bureau and Terry Hunt in Washington:

1. We should continue to avoid the phrase "ground zero mosque" or "mosque at ground zero" on all platforms. (We’ve very rarely used this wording, except in slugs, though we sometimes see other news sources using the term.) The site of the proposed Islamic center and mosque is not at ground zero, but two blocks away in a busy commercial area. We should continue to say it’s “near” ground zero, or two blocks away.

WE WILL CHANGE OUR SLUG ON THIS STORY LATER TODAY from “BC-Ground Zero Mosque” to “BC-NYC Mosque.”

In short headlines, some ways to refer to the project include:

_ mosque 2 blocks from WTC site
_ Muslim (or Islamic) center near WTC site
_ mosque near ground zero
_ mosque near WTC site

We can refer to the project as a mosque, or as a proposed Islamic center that includes a mosque.

It may be useful in some stories to note that Muslim prayer services have been held since 2009 in the building that the new project will replace. The proposal is to create a new, larger Islamic community center that would include a mosque, a swimming pool, gym, auditorium and other facilities.

2. Here is a succinct summary of President Obama’s position:

Obama has said he believes Muslims have the right to build an Islamic center in New York as a matter of religious freedom, though he's also said he won't take a position on whether they should actually build it.

For additional background, you’ll find below a Fact Check on the project that moved yesterday.

Tom

Notice the new guidance on not saying Obama supports the mosque -- now we have to say he doesn't have an opinion on it. Despite the fact that the NYT reported his aides say he has a STRONG position on it.

But let's pretend, on behalf of our New God.

Sarah Palin expressed her disagreement with the choice.

Pelosi's investigation of Harry Reid & Howard Dean & others who oppose Ground Zero Mosque will be enlightening, we're sure.

Incidentally, because Tweets are so short, people resort to cutting out spaces and stuff to get their sentences in under 140 characters. The Hill repeated her tweet with those space-saving space deletions -- they didn't, as I just did, put the spaces back in.

And I think, as usual, that's to make her look bad. They tweet, so they know people do this all the time, and Tweets look kind of ugly sometimes... but better to publish Palin's cramped-together-to-save-space tweet to make her look as if she doesn't understand there are spaces between words.

By the way: The building in question was in fact party destroyed by the flying landing gear of one of the 9/11 Jet Bombs, so yes, it is in fact Ground Zero.

Thanks to pam.



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posted by Ace at 03:10 PM

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