The Associated Press has seemingly ignored its own stylebook on several occasions by referring to 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, as a “teen” or “teenager” rather than a “man.”
The official Associated Press Stylebook indicates that news reports should “use man or woman for individuals 18 and older.”
AP describes Michael Brown as a "teen" in caption: This undated file family photo provided by the Brown Family and held by Michael Brown Sr., shows Michael Brown Sr., at right, his son, Michael Brown, top left, and a young child. Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed in a confrontation with police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. Brown suffered a bullet wound to his right arm that may have occurred when he put his hands up or when his back was turned to the shooter, "but we don't know," a pathologist hired by the teen's family said Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
Mediaite’s Eddie Scarry notes two recent AP headlines and an excerpt on the controversial shooting death of Brown:
“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.”
The photo included above also describes Brown as a "teen."
TheBlaze follows AP style in most cases and the matter related to Brown’s age was discussed internally early Monday morning, Front Page Editor Madeleine Morgenstern said. On Monday, it was specified that AP style is in fact to refer to someone as an adult once they turn 18, as Michael Brown was. Therefore, "Missouri teen" or similar descriptions are incorrect.
TheBlaze has left messages for the Associated Press seeking clarification about the news organization's use of its style guide in this particular instance.