AP To Staff: ‘Don’t Call It The Ground Zero Mosque’

By Alex Alvarez on Aug 20, 2010 10:56 AM

The Associated Press has given its writers and editors a definitive set of guidelines for how to refer to the Islamic center and mosque in downtown New York. You may recall that The Upshot recently took a look at how different outlets were choosing to refer to the Park51 project, at a time when several of these outlets were inaccurately calling it the “Ground Zero mosque.” The AP had noted in its articles that the mosque was two blocks from where the World Trade Center towers once stood, but had described it as the “Ground Zero mosque” in headlines. Now, that’s about to change.

In a memo to staff, AP deputy managing editor for standards and production Tom Kent writes:

We should continue to avoid the phrase “ground zero mosque” or “mosque at ground zero” on all platforms. (We’ve very rarely used this wording, except in slugs, though we sometimes see other news sources using the term.) The site of the proposed Islamic center and mosque is not at ground zero, but two blocks away in a busy commercial area. We should continue to say it’s “near” ground zero, or two blocks away.

He also includes various alternate options:

• mosque 2 blocks from WTC site• Muslim (or Islamic) center near WTC site

• mosque near ground zero

• mosque near WTC site

We can refer to the project as a mosque, or as a proposed Islamic center that includes a mosque.



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