What’s Changing in the AP Stylebook for 2024?

The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook is the reference for newswriting and a guide PR professionals use in drafting news release, bylined articles and more. Every year, we cover the latest changes to the AP Stylebook and relevant entries that help us continue to tell stories accurately and effectively on relevant topics of today.

While the next book won’t be published until 2024, this week’s webinar with PRSA featured AP Stylebook editor Paula Froke, who took us PR professionals through the changes that have been introduced to the book since last year and went in-depth to explain relevant key terms and the reasoning behind the modifications that AP has made.

Artificial Intelligence

One key topic touched on was artificial intelligence, (AI). AP’s guidelines instruct to avoid language that gives a system human characteristics and to avoid gendered pronouns in reference to these AI tools. It is also important to note the potential biases in AI tools, which can have discriminatory outcomes.

Also, the word ‘AI’ can be used in headlines and on second reference in text.

Climate Change and Global Warming

When talking about the  rise in the  Earth’s average temperature, AP says to refer to it as  “global warming” as this term cannot be used interchangeably with “climate change.” If you are discussing in the context of a group of individuals,  AP notes to be specific about an individual or a group’s beliefs, rather than using terms like “climate change deniers,” “climate change skeptics” or “climate change doubters.”


AP emphasized the difference between a nonprofit, a for-profit and a not-for-profit, which is basically a tax designation.  AP recommends referring to a nonprofit based on its stated missions rather than the tax code.

Gender, Sex and Sexual Orientation

“LGBTQ+” is acceptable in all references for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer and/or questioning as well as other sexual and gender minorities. AP also states that LGBTQ+ should be used as collective adjective and not to describe individuals.

The term “transgender” should only be used when relevant and with the name by which the individual lives publicly. Avoid using the term  “birth gender,” but rather use “sex assigned at birth.” It is acceptable to use the word trans on second reference and in headlines.

Also, only use a person’s previous name or pre-transition image only if required to understand the news or if requested by the person.

Other Key Takeaways

  • Avoid the slang term “woke,” unless in direct quotations.
  • Avoid the term “anti-vaxxer,” and instead be specific on a person or a group position.
  • Avoid using the term “incident,” as it is vague and requires more details.
  • Do not use “Hawaiians,” use “Hawaii residents” instead.
  • Regarding the recent rebrand of a particular social media platform, use “X, formerly known as Twitter,” on first reference. However, the term “tweet” remains as both a noun and a verb.
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at Sep 20, 2023

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