The most recent copy of the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual I own is dated 1998; I scanned the relevant page and highlighted the text in question. I also own a copy from my college days with a 1977 copyright on it. They both have the same guidelines for referring to someone as a “youth:”
youth Applicable to boys and girls from age 13 until 18th birthday. Use man or woman for individuals 18 and older.
“AP violating own style guidelines to refer to Michael Brown as ‘teenager’?”, Allahpundit asks at Hot Air. “Question mark in the headline because the AP Stylebook’s not available online, so I can’t confirm that it’s true. But I’m going to trust Eddie Scarry” of Mediaite:
The Associated Press Stylebook states that in reports referring to a person’s age, the figure for the age number should be used. It also states that reports should “use man or woman for individuals 18 and older.”
Why, then, are AP reports on the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown solely referring to him as a “teen” and “teenager”?
“Don’t know’ if Missouri teen shot with hands up,” reads one AP headline from Monday. “County autopsy: Unarmed teen shot 6 to 8 times,” reads another.
And an excerpt from yet another AP story, emphasis added: “Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon lifted a curfew but ordered the National Guard to step in to help restore order. Holder over the weekend ordered a federal medical examiner to perform a third autopsy on the teenager, Michael Brown.”
Unless the rules have changed at AP after 1998, then yes, they violated their Style Guide. But hey, that narrative doesn’t write itself, you know.
Update: “AP Violated Stylebook at least 11 times with at least 7 reporters,” frequent PJM contributor Tom Blumer writes.