Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Online forum pillages AP style...

Hold on Dallas. I know they may speak differently in the the south, but throwing the conventions of the written English language out the window? That's just unacceptable. I may be being a little too harsh. It's not that they completely butchered the English language, but at least learn to write in AP style. Newspapers may be dying, but that doesn't mean standards of traditional written journalism have to die with them.

Also, I realize this Web site is related to broadcast journalism. The authors on this site probably didn't have AP style hammered into their heads until it was all they breathed, ate and slept. But double-checking dates and the way to cite money isn't too much to ask, is it?

In the second paragraph of the article, the author makes his first mistake. Instead of abbreviating Sept. 29 as it should be, Doug Dunbar writes the whole word "September" out. Quick AP style lesson: The month is only ever written out when it is a month that is never abbreviated, is followed by a year but NOT a day or stands alone.

Second mistake: In a quote from Jeb Hensarling, Dunbar writes out the word "dollars" instead of using the $ sign before the number 200 million. Perhaps he was nervous about altering a quote, but I've got news for you - that doesn't alter a quote. Another quick AP style lesson: Always use a $ sign before a numeric value, unless you are talking about cents, in which case you can write the word out.

In other quotes, Dunbar fails to place in the attribution in the right place, sticking it after a paragraph instead of after the first sentence. Talk about confusing the reader.

Not only is Dunbar also repetitive, but the story lacks transitions and refers to Dunbar in the third person when at times it seems he is writing the article himself. Is he or isn't he?

CBS Dallas, please figure out how to write in AP style before I tie all of your reporters in trunks full of scorpions.

Link to article: Fannie Mae Execs Wine, Dine & Golf After Bailout

No comments: