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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 3/07/2013 02:38:44 PM Eastern

The National Association of Broadcasters has strongly
endorsed the AP'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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