Bloggers kick around the Associated Press after news broke of a style change
Watch closely and learn how in less than 24 hours a blog item about writing style mutates into a churning smear campaign.
On Monday, Politico.com, a blog that’s two parts politics and one part US Weekly, posted a long item about the Associated Press and its new Washington Bureau chief, Ron Fournier.
Turns out he’s changing AP style. Instead of its just-the-facts style, Fournier has “encouraged [reporters] to throw away weasel words” for more emotive language, and even first person perspective. Fournier has reportedly said that “being released from the tired conventions of news writing is exactly what journalism needs.”
For instance, a recent AP dispatch from reporter Liz Sidoti said, “I miss Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.” It’s not an opinion piece, fans of Fournier claim, but a news analysis; Fournier calls it “accountability journalism.”
Of course, in the blogosphere, like in the mainstream media, the gray area continues to shrink. That means you’re either with us, or against us, and the Politico headline matched that timbre: “Is Fournier saving or destroying the AP?”