Before & After

Stylebook Rules
Quotable Quotes
Relevant Articles
Before & After
Media Bias
About the Editor

At the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, copy editors process stories from both the City Desk and the news services.

Political labels are not usually a problem in the local copy, since the Honolulu Star-Bulletin has had a style rule since 1992 advising against the use of political labels in news stories.

The news services are a different story. Most of them have style rules or codes of ethics that advise against using political labels, but they don't all heed their own advice. Their dispatches frequently must be edited to conform to the widely accepted journalistic ideal of "objective" news reporting.

Below are some examples of news reports before and after they were purged of unnecessary political labels. In some of the examples, a little research and some minor rewriting was needed, but usually only deleting the offending labels was needed. In either case, the news reports were improved, either because they contained more information than originally or they were shorn of presumptuous terminology that distracted from the facts.

Australia's "conservative" Liberals

New York Times' Take on Anti-Terror Proposal