Social Media Style Guide for Journalists

A free guide for all journalists and writers


April Fools’ Day
Also April Fool’s Day. Traditionally observed by news outlets by spreading as much misinformation as possible.

apostrophes
Arcane remnant of Old English. Avoid where possible.

attribution
Preferred, but optional.

Benny Johnson
Sociopath.

BREAKING
Used primarily by news outlets as a wry commentary on the state of journalism.

Buzzfeed
Standard-bearer for the ideal manifestation of journalism.

capital letters
Optional.

crowdsourcing
As unpaid interns have gone out of vogue crowdsourcing has become the favored method of soliciting unpaid labor.

ellipses
Ellipses can be useful for ending thoughts you don’t have the intellect to finish.

fanboi, fanboy
Prefer fanboi when lying.

good tweet
Phrase used to indicate a bad tweet.

Hacker News
A good place to promote incredibly offensive articles.

hateread
Term used to indicate articles longer than 800 words.

Henry Blodget
Publisher of Business Insider, dog.

ICYMI
Acronym for “in case you missed it.” Typically used to re-promote articles of low quality that failed to meet pageview goals.

literally
Used to indicate something that is not true.

lmao, lmbo
Are you Max Read? Then it’s lmao.

manual RT
A technique used by journalists who don’t know how to use Twitter; avoid at all costs.

Medium
Clearing house for writing no publication in their right mind would run.

MT
Modified tweet. Used to signal a quote that has been edited to fit Twitter’s 140 character limit, often without regard for context or intended meaning.

Pando Daily
A startup marketing company often mistaken for a news publication. Avoid.

Reddit
A community of pedophiles and misogynists; used for free publicity by the morally bankrupt.

smh
Shorthand for “something.”

social media editor
A lifestyle, not a job title.

stand by for news
Phrase used to create hype for news that would otherwise be ignored.

thinkpiece
Shorthand that roughly translates to “part of a thought.”

troll
See trolling

trolling
See troll

uhhhh, ummmm
Often used to preface good counterpoints.

weird twitter
A collective term for a subset of Twitter users who are not funny.