This can occur even if the original work has been paraphrased or modified. A close or extended paraphrase of that work may also be considered plagiarism, even if the source is named. Acts of plagiarism have ended the careers of many journalists and tarnished the credibility of their media employers. Throughout your career in the media, you must make sure that you do not plagiarize the work of another.


Style guides provide the rules for consistency, usage, and precision that a media writer relies upon daily. Style guides address everything from abbreviations, capitalization, and dates to punctuation, grammar, spelling, and word usage. Media professionals consider style guides to be their working “bible.” Many media organizations use the Associated Press Stylebook. Major media organizations such as The New York Times publish their own style guides or supplements to the Associated Press Stylebook.


In addition, broadcast and cable media use industry-specific guides, often based on the Associated Press Stylebook but focused on the necessities of reading copy on the air. Public relations practitioners utilize the Associated Press Stylebook in their media relations work. Although each organization may utilize some unique style conventions, style guides are largely based upon Standard English usage. As a media professional, you will need to carefully study style guides and learn their rules.