Most means of communication , especially newspapers, has a number of rules and regulations to transmit information . With them, the collaborators in the environment know how to develop their work. This type of information is known as a style manual .
What aspects intervene in a newspaper style manual?
Although the standards included in this type of guide are quite diverse, we can highlight some significant points:
- – Typography model used and typographic standards.
- – Treatment of graphics, photos and their captions.
- – The use of signature and names in different languages.
- – The use of symbols, abbreviations, acronyms , initials and acronyms.
- – The criterion for using spelling signs and grammar rules.
- – The processing of information “off the record”.
- – The focus of the news (for example, a media outlet should not admit that a rumor is news).
- – Some recommendations related to the narrative style (as the information has to be precise, usually the use of ambiguous words is not advisable, such as numerous, a group or a few).
- – Respect for author’s rights and the various prohibitions related to the reproduction of information from other means.
- – The approach to advertising spaces (for example, the newspaper must commit to the veracity of the published advertisement ).
- – The use of inconvenient expressions (obscene words are generally prohibited in most manuals, except in cases where there are textual quotations).
- – These manuals express the following standards, but also indicate which exceptions are valid.
In the first place , this type of standard facilitates the daily work of editors and contributors of a medium. If such norms did not exist, all sorts of inconsistencies could occur. In this sense, it is common for style manuals to specify which rules must be respected for each type of journalistic information (news, interviews, reports, chronicles, etc.). Second, these guides represent a commitment to quality and informative accuracy. At the same time, they establish a commitment to journalistic ethics.
From a strictly journalistic angle, the editors of a newspaper must perform their role with professional judgment and a language accessible to the general public. From the reader’s point of view, the style manual allows for a better understanding of the news and greater identification between the reader and the media.