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Agate styleguide?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ChrisMaza, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. ChrisMaza

    ChrisMaza Member

    Does the Associate Press have a specific style guide for sports agate? Or when doing schedule/agate do papers tend to have their own style?
    I ask because the weekly newspaper is starting a new sports section, which I am in charge of. We've had a "sports page" in the past, but for the most part it is filled with press releases from the local pro teams and briefs from local athletic organizations. We're actually going to start having some true sports coverage and included in that will be a comprehensive high school sports schedule.
    I've started slowly incorporating some elements, like the schedule, into our sports layout just to see where everything could fit, how it looks, etc., before the actual "launch" of the section, which is scheduled to take place the first week of March.
    I've noticed that my assistant managing editor, who's a real ball-buster when it comes to style, has been altering things in the schedule. For instance - One of the schools in the coverage area is Westfield Vocational Technical High School. In the interest of space, I entered that school as Westfield Voc., which is how most refer to it anyway. But she insists that because it is the proper name of the school, it must be written out. I personally think it's a waste of space to have the scoreboard filled with "Westfield Vocational Technical High School" or "Chicopee Comprehensive High School" when "Westfield Voc." or "Chicopee Comp." work just fine and people know the schools to which you are referring.
    When I worked in Central Mass., we covered Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School, but always referred to it as Monty Tech and we referred to it as such in all instances.
    Am I wrong on this?
    I was figuring if the AP had a specific rule or style for agate, I would follow that, since we follow AP style for everything else. If I could present her with an official set of guidelines for this, I think she would be fine with it. If not, I think this is a battle I'm going to be consistently fighting.
  2. pseudo

    pseudo Well-Known Member

    Your AME has apparently either never read an AP MLB box score -- take a look at the way some players' names are abbreviated -- or plans to fill the entire section with agate. Our tiny weekly doesn't use any, but looking at the way the folks in the Buffalo area handle it, you're fine: Hutch-Tech sted Hutchinson Central Technical Institute, I-Prep (The International Preparatory School at Grover), Roy-Hart (Royalton-Hartland), Lew-Port (Lewiston-Porter), etc.

    Here's proof, formatted the same for print/online: http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/high-schools/article735020.ece
  3. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    You definitely don't need to write out "High School" under any circumstance. In agate, you can abbreviate however saves you space while still being easily understood by people in your area.
  4. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    Naming conventions for high school aren't even consistent between states. For schools that weren't recognizable by city, Florida lists city first (i.e. Live Oak-Suwannnee) while Georgia lists it last (i.e. Westside-Macon).

    In other words, there is no universal standard. Develop the style for your shop and use consistently.
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    There are some agate guidelines in the AP Stylebook. Basic formatting and organization, mostly.
    It's some good rules to follow, but as with any other type of style you really need to develop your own on some things. For example, according to the stylebook you're supposed to list standings by competition level -- pro first, college second, then high school and youth sports. However, if you do that you're burying what is presumably your most localized content (high schools), and also putting it at the end of the page where it might get cut for space. At our shop, we try to put that stuff first.
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