By SPENCER DANDES
The industry standard for style and usage has gone digital.
Associated Press editors collaborate annually to update the AP Stylebook and Libel Manual, a journalist’s handiest reference. But rather than carrying a large spiral or paperback book, it is available in the form of an iPhone app.
“It’s very easy to use and really keeps me organized,” said Stephanie Parra, news editor of The Miami Hurricane, the student newspaper at the University of Miami. “Whereas with the actual book I had tons of bookmarks and creased page corners, now I can just store ‘favorites’ on the app.”
Parra, who was The Hurricane’s copy chief last year, has observed that her writers’ style and structure improves when they use the app.
“There are a couple people whose articles have become much easier to edit, because they’re able to easily answer any AP style questions that come up while they write,” she said.
The app is slightly more expensive than the physical AP Stylebook and Libel Manual, which usually runs for around $20. The annual fee for the app is $28.99.
Personally, the convenience and portability of the app makes it worth the extra money to me. I imagine myself out on an assignment and having to file a story on the go; my copy would undoubtedly be cleaner if I were able to consult the stylebook right from my iPhone.
Another unique benefit for journalists or editors using the app is the search method. Rather than flipping through several hundred pages of text, the app recognizes key words as they are typed and makes suggestions for common entries.