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Learn What Language Our Newsroom Uses And Why — And Share Your Perspective

A image with white text in the center saying, Dialogue, help inform our newsroom's style guide, above the KPCC/LAist logos on a blue gradient background.
(Caitlin Hernández

Words can inform how a person feels recognized (or not) by someone who speaks about them. As journalists, we’re often in a position to shape how people understand the world around them and each other. KPCC/LAist’s new style guide initiative, Dialogue, is an opportunity to learn more about the language that appears on LAist.com and 89.3 KPCC and share feedback in a meaningful way.

A Quick Primer

First, what is a style guide for a news organization? Essentially, a style guide is a set of standards that informs what words or phrases journalists should use — and when. The Associated Press Stylebook is used by a lot of newsrooms, while many have created guides of their own. Style guides can cover everything from policing and disabilities to gender and race. (Seriously, the AP Stylebook even has directions on when to use “BLT” for a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.)

So What Is Dialogue, And How Can I Participate?

Dialogue is a months-long project for which staff researched inclusive language to inform how we report stories about Los Angeles and beyond. While we previously used a mix of the AP Stylebook and our own guidance, we have overhauled our guide to be more inclusive and reflective of the communities we serve. Our newsroom participated in this process, and now we’re asking you to take part in the conversation.

We hope you’ll share your thoughts about any of the guidance through the purple buttons at the bottom of each section in the style guide. This is a living document that may be updated based on your feedback.

An image of the general topics purple feedback button, which says "Tell Us What You Think."
The general topics feedback button. While on Dialogue, click it to share your perspective.

Why Is This Important?

Local journalism should reflect the communities it serves. For decades, newsrooms have played a role in normalizing harmful stereotypes and charged words. We are working hard to produce journalism that centers diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. That includes making our style guide — something that informs so much of what we do — not only more inclusive but also accessible to readers and with an invitation for your input.

To learn more and participate, visit here. Want to learn how we did this project? Read about it on Medium.

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