AP unveils Spanish Stylebook at Columbia J-School

Nov. 20, 2012
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AP Deputy Managing Editor for Standards and Production Tom Kent (right) discusses AP's new Spanish-language Stylebook at Columbia University Nov. 19, while Isaac Lee, president of news for Univision Communications Inc., listens. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
AP Spanish Service Entertainment Editor Sigal Ratner-Arias, right, discusses the Spanish-language Stylebook at Columbia University Nov. 19. Left is panelist Edward Schumacher-Matos, ombudsman for NPR. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
NEW YORK -- It started out as an informal memo circulated among reporters and editors for the AP’s Spanish Service to ensure they were consistent in their use of certain words and phrases. More than 10 years later, and after much refinement and expansion of the guidelines, the AP unveiled its first Spanish-language Stylebook Nov. 19.

“Language is a reflection of a society, its time and its people. When two planes crashed into the twin towers in lower Manhattan the world changed and so did journalism,” explained Ricardo Reif, a supervisor for the Spanish Service who penned that first memo to his colleagues. "For international news agencies it became vital to deal with strange new terms,” such as Taliban, al-Qaida and Humvee.

The new Manual de Estilo Online de la AP is a robust, Web-based guide to writing well in Spanish. It’s intended for universal use, with a focus on Latin America and the United States, and is optimized for use on mobile devices and tablets.

To mark the occasion, journalists from Univision and NPR joined AP editors for a lively panel discussion about Spanish writing style Monday night at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in Manhattan.

The panel addressed issues ranging from AP’s philosophy on using “illegal immigrant” to social media and entertainment terminology. 

The event featured as panelists: Isaac Lee, president of news for Univision Communications Inc.; Edward Schumacher-Matos, ombudsman for NPR and founder of Rumbo Newspapers/Meximerica Media, a chain of four Spanish-language dailies in Texas; Sigal Ratner-Arias, entertainment editor, AP Spanish Service, and Tom Kent, AP’s deputy managing editor for standards and production.  Alejandro Manrique, AP deputy editor for Latin America and director of the AP Spanish Service, moderated the discussion.

Watch the Livestream video of the event here: http://bit.ly/UR9urL.

A similar event is planned in Mexico City on Dec. 3.

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_ManualEstilo.

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ManualDeEstiloOnlineDeLaAp.

On the Web: http://manualdeestiloap.com.
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