A Thanks And Two Reminders On Describing Weapons And Adding Sources To ‘Reportable’ Notes

Many thanks to everyone for the care that’s been taken with the information coming in from San Bernardino. Our language has been precise, we’ve added important context and we’ve been clear about what’s known and what isn’t.

The “reportable” and “guidance” notes from editors and reporters have been extremely helpful. One thing: Please remember to include language about the sources of that information. It’s very important that we be able to tell listeners and readers where we’re getting our information.

Also, please continue to be careful about descriptions of the weapons. To many in the audience, “assault rifles” are fully automatic weapons that cannot be legally purchased. At this point, it’s better to refer to the rifles used in San Bernardino as “assault-style.”

But again, thanks. We’ve gotten many messages such as this one posted on Facebook:

“Thank you for reporting only the facts while others in the media build a frenzy just to be the first with ‘new information’, credible or not.”

From October:Take Care When Describing Weapons.”

(“Memmos;” Dec. 3, 2015)

December 3, 2015

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