NAB Endorses AP Stylebook Change on Mental Illness
Changes include not describing a person as mentally ill unless properly sourced and pertinent, advises against use of derogatory terms
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/7/2013 2:38:44 PMAP's update to its Stylebook on reporting mental health issues.
That change comes as mental health has been much in the news as one issue related to the ongoing conversation about violence. The change has been added to the online stylebook and will be part of the next print edition coming out in the spring.
Among the many changes are not describing someone as mentally ill unless it is pertinent to the story and with a properly sourced diagnosis. AP also advises "not [to] use derogatory terms, such as insane, crazy/crazed, nuts or deranged, unless they are part of a quotation that is essential to the story," and to "avoid using mental health terms to describe non-health issues. Don't say that an awards show, for example, was schizophrenic."
"NAB will help educate broadcasters on this initiative, and we encourage our network partners and newsroom personnel at all radio and television stations to adopt the suggested guidelines," he said.
NAB last year gave its Service to America Leadership Award to Glenn Close for her efforts to remove the stigma from mental illness.
Both Close and Smith have had family members who suffered mental illness.
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