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Our Style Guide's Revision History

In May 2021, our newsroom launched Dialogue, an initiative from LAist to create a participatory and inclusive style guide. (Read why this is important and how we did it.) Updates to the style guide are led by our newsroom's top editors and are authored by Caitlin Hernández through a combination of research, discussions with reporting teams, and audience feedback.

March 15, 2023

Digital Blackface and Methane (under General Topics)

These are entirely new sections. The first directs non-Black staff to avoid using media of Black culture to convey emotion — such as with GIFs in stories — with tools for staff to help spot it. The second reflects a change from natural gas to methane, with directions to use both terms accurately for clarity.

Lunar New Year (under Racial And Ethnic Identities)

This new guidance directs staff to use Lunar New Year generally to refer to the holiday, unless a more specific holiday name can be used.


This is new category that houses guidance on the term Jewish and how to count Jewish holidays through nights. It will be expanded.

March 9, 2023

Covering Suicides (under General Topics)

Revised guidelines for on-air reporting on suicide to reflect creation of 988 and simplify guidance. Use: If you or someone you know needs immediate mental health counseling you can dial 988 to reach the The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

February 21, 2023

Multilingual Quotes and Slurs (under Language Styles)

These are entirely new sections. The first has guidance about how to format and include multilingual quotes in digital and audio coverage. The second is about the avoidance of slurs, with limited direction about how to include them if it's absolutely necessary to share evidence.

January 18, 2023

Avoiding Ableism (under Disabilities)

This section has new questions that staff can use as a litmus test to help determine if a quote with ableist language is appropriate to use.

Housing Insecurity (under Living Situations)

This section has new guidance that allows for the term homeless to be used in formal program names. It also points to more researched guidance from Street Sense Media.

Titles (under General Topics)

This section is new and primarily directs staff to only use the Dr. title for people who hold certain medical degrees in the interest of public health, among other guidance.

December 2, 2022

Mpox (under Health Care)

This is new guidance about how to use mpox instead of monkeypox after the disease's name change.

November 29, 2022

Addiction (under Health Care)
This section was updated with directions to not use junkie or addict colloquially, such as to describe someone with a deep passion.

Breastfeeding And Chestfeeding (under Reproductive Care)
This section is new and explains alernatives to the term breastfeeding. Our newsroom uses affirmative language to include those who may not be comfortable with the term or may experience dysphoria with their anatomy.

October 24, 2022

Alt Text (under Disabilities)

This is a new section, which covers how to include race, ethnicity and skin tone, as well as directions about color, gender and social media. It was informed through research and conversations with people in blind and low-vision communities.

Covering Suicides and Using Victim and Survivor (under General Topics)

These sections were updated to include new directions on how to cite mental health resources in on-air coverage.

July 25, 2022

Authenticity (under General Topics)

This section is new guidance that directs staff to avoid using authentic to describe a particular food or form of cultural expression.

May 19, 2022

Including Age (under General Topics)

This section includes new guidance from the Associated Press on the use of the term teen vs. man/woman/adult.

May 16, 2022

Reproductive Care

This is a new section with guidance adopted from NPR. It covers terminology for abortion, procedures, stages of pregnancy and gender inclusivity in coverage.

World War II Incarceration (under General Topics)

This section is a new entry that directs staff to use incarceration instead of internment to describe the confinment of people with Japanese ancestry during World War II.

April 11, 2022

Formatting For Deaf And Other Abilities (under Disabilities)

This section is a new entry, which primarily directs staff to capitalize deaf in certain uses to signify the culture and community.

Incarceration (under The Justice System)

The langauge in this section was corrected to add clarity on how to use offense and sex offender.

February 7, 2022

Indigenous Communities (under Racial And Ethnic Identities)

This entry has additional guidance. It directs the newsroom to capitalize both Native and American and to avoid using Native for where someone grew up.

January 31, 2022

Names (under Racial And Ethnic Identities)
The names section is an entirely new entry in the guide. It was developed through research and conversations in our newsroom to ensure we're accurately using sources' first and last names. It contains multiple areas of guidance pertaining to diacritics and naming conventions.

Using Diverse (under Racial And Ethnic Identities)
This section is a completely new entry written to match our newsroom's values to speak thoughtfully.

January 17, 2022

Addiction (under Health Care)
The addiction entry is an entirely new addition to the guide and contains multiple areas of guidance. It was developed through research and conversations in the newsroom to be compassionate about the public health issue.

November 11, 2021

Photos (under General Topics)
The update removes previous guidance on how to label photo alt text that was not in line with the WebAIM best practices also referenced.

November 9, 2021

Person-First Language (under Language Styles)
The update directs staff to always ask if sources in disabled communities want identity-first language used. It explicitly follows guidance from the National Center on Disability and Journalism (also updated in "Avoiding Ableism").

Criminal Justice Reporting (under The Justice System)
This section includes a new addition that advises against naming someone booked on suspicion of a crime unless it's absolutely necessary or they've been charged.

Traffic Collisions (under The Justice System)
This entry includes new guidance about not using hit/killed by a car. It was done to avoid the removal of the driver from a collision.

July 26, 2021

Criminal Justice Reporting (under The Justice System)
This section includes a new addition that advises against using suspect as a catch-all term to describe an unknown person who committed a crime. This was done to reduce ambiguity and counter assumed guilt when someone is arrested.

Including Race And Ethnicity (under Racial And Ethnic Identities)
This section includes a new addition that advises using Black instead of African American under certain circumstances. This was done to better reflect the diverse range of experiences within the communities we serve.