Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
How can local TV news fix its young person problem? Maybe it needs to look more like Vox
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Feb. 4, 2014, 2:23 p.m.
LINK: www.buzzfeed.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Caroline O'Donovan   |   February 4, 2014

To the delight of Internet writers everywhere, BuzzFeed published their internal style guide today. There are some obvious points of humor — the correct capitalization of “catfished” and “?! (never !?)” are just two examples.

But as was mentioned on Twitter this week, the Internet is a place where new words are invented all the time, and inevitably, journalists need rules around how to type them. Here’s BuzzFeed on how they came up with guidelines for everything from acronyms to headlines, corrections to formatting:

BuzzFeed publishes news and entertainment in the language of the web, and in our work we rely on a style guide to govern everything from hard-hitting journalism to fun quizzes. We value consistency and accuracy across those formats and categories. (For instance: Knowing how to treat numbers is important, but so is correctly spelling “fangirl.”) Our perspective reflects that of the internet at large, which is why we hope other sites and organizations across the web will find these guidelines useful. This style guide will be updated regularly to ensure it remains relevant and responds accordingly to changes in language and common, casual usage.

And one last bit of inadvertent, uh, advice:

Avoid “The Internet Did ____” / “All Of The Internet” “Everyone On The Internet” as a frame/device in headlines

Editor’s note: I’m happy to note that BuzzFeed style and Nieman Lab style agree often: no exclamation point on Yahoo, the serial comma, spaces around em dashes, startup vs. start up vs. start-up. But we use ebook rather than e-book, still capitalize Internet, use liveblog and livestream as one word rather than two, and take no firm position on the capitalization of “Juggalo.”

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
How can local TV news fix its young person problem? Maybe it needs to look more like Vox
“While remixing the stories did not resonate every time, we did see positive results on the group of hard news stories where we altered the storytelling approach.”
If Facebook wants to stop the spread of anti-vaxxers, it could start by not taking their ad dollars
“You have nothing to be ashamed of for your parents not vaccinating you. It wasn’t something you researched and decided against, you were just doing the whole ‘being a kid’ thing.”
Clicks are an “unreliable seismograph” for a news article’s value — here’s new research to back it up
“People frequently click on stories that are amusing, trivial, or weird, with no obvious civic focus. But they maintain a clear sense of what is trivial and what matters.”