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Online News Style

What style guidelines should Internet news sites use? Some argue that the Associated Press Stylebook remains the standard, while others say it’s outdated and should change terms like “Web site” to “website” and “e-mail” to “email.” But the debates largely miss the point: The actual style you choose is less important than consistency across your publication. Many sites, for example, run both AP and Reuters stories without changing styles, which not only looks unprofessional, but can be very confusing to the reader. A good example is the different spellings of Arab names littering sites’ news stories on the Afghanistan war coverage. CyberJournalist.net recommends starting with AP style, creating your own amendments to it that suit your site’s mission and audience — and remaining consistent.

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