The question of what constitutes inclusive language has been one of the most hotly debated parts of Associated Press style (behind the serial comma). With each year’s new addition to the AP Stylebook, the organization has refreshed its rules around the most inclusive word to describe terms related to race, gender, physical and mental conditions and more.
The 2022 Stylebook goes further with a new inclusive storytelling chapter that focuses on how reporting and editing can ensure accuracy and fairness with a focus on recognizing and overcoming unconscious biases. This involves using intentional language and going beyond your usual sources, for starters.
In a recent Ragan webinar, Paula Froke, AP Stylebook editor and manager of AP’s Nerve Center, shared some context around AP Style’s new inclusive language guidance. These tips not only apply to PR pros, but employee communicators who seek to craft content strategies that spotlight employees in an inclusive, non-tokenizing way.
Make an effort to find underrepresented sources
Froke said that you should make a point to go beyond the regular sources look for those that aren’t routinely represented.