AP style updates
The Associated Press has changed its entry on "innocent."
innocent, not guiltyThe old entry said "Use innocent, rather than not guilty, in describing a defendant's plea or a jury's verdict, to guard against the word not being dropped inadvertently."
In court cases, plea situations and trials, not guilty is preferable to innocent, because it is more precise legally. (However, special care must be taken to prevent omission of the word not.) When possible, say a defendant was acquitted of criminal charges.
AP also added an entry on anonymous sources.
Use anonymous attribution only when essential and even then provide the most specific possible identification of the source. Simply quoting "a source," unmodified, is almost always prohibited.No word on whether Norm Goldstein and crew prefer "on condition of anonymity" or "on the condition of anonymity." But can we find guidance in the sentence "under the conditions of anonymity"?
Do not attribute information to sources -- anonymous or otherwise -- when it is obvious, common sense or well-known.
The basic guidelines for use of anonymous sources:
* The material must be information and not opinion and it must provide information of significant value to the news report.
* The information must not be available except under the conditions of anonymity imposed by the source. In some cases, it may be appropriate to say why the source requested anonymity.
* The source must be in a position to have accurate information and, to the best of the reporter's ability to determine, must be understood to be reliable.
* Be sure to seek more than one source for the story.