AP Wrestles Over Declaring Jerusalem Israel's Capital

Friday, 16 Nov 2012 11:04 PM

By Stephen Feller

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The Associated Press on Friday corrected its own style twice when referring to Jerusalem, issuing one version on Twitter and then later rewriting the story to more accurately describe the city.

The initial version of the story called Jerusalem “Israel’s capital,” later changing it to “Israel’s self-declared capital” - neither of which is accurate or in line with the widely-used AP Style Guide.

Officially, publications who use AP style are to refer to Jerusalem by itself, however the third update to the AP story was rewritten to say “claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians as a capital.”

AP spokesperson Paul Colford said the multiple revisions did not need to be labeled as corrections because they altered style, rather than facts.

In an email to Politico, Colford wrote that "it appears the alternate reference in copy ('self-declared capital') was viewed as a correction of an earlier reference ('capital'), contained in a tweet based on a different writethru... Labeling it a 'correction' was unnecessary."

Although the official capital of Israel is Tel Aviv, both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital, which must be reflected in the story.

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