AP reminds journalists about wording for weapons
Gun rights groups are praising an Associated Press (AP) tweet that offered guidance for using terms such as semi-automatic rifle, assault rifle, and assault weapon.
The tips can be found in the AP Stylebook.
The tweet appears to be a reminder for journalists who are unfamiliar with guns. The AP called terms such as assault rifle and assault weapons “highly politicized.” It said journalists should use the term “semi-automatic rifle” for a rifle that fires one bullet each time the trigger is pulled, and use the term “automatic rifle” if the weapon continuously fires rounds once the trigger is pulled.
The Second Amendment Foundation is one of the groups that praised the tweet, calling AP’s advice a “smart gun change.” The group said the gun prohibition lobby has used terms such as “assault weapon” to frighten and deliberately mislead people.
Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues. This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, who taught in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.