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Monday, November 19, 2012

Capitalizing Jerusalem

This excerpt from a longer Poynter wrap-up on developments on Israel-Gaza reminded me of that uproar over the Dems not declaring Jerusalem as the "capital of Israel."  The AP and NYT qualify that but naturally President Obama and his party do not.  Here's the excerpt:
The Associated Press issued a “correction” tweet Friday changing a reference to “Israel’s capital” to “Israel’s self-declared capital.” As Politico pointed out, there’s only one line in the AP Stylebook on Jerusalem: “The city in Israel stands alone in dateline.”

AP spokesperson Paul Colford told Politco the AP had alternated between writing “capital” and “self-declared capital” in previous copy, but now describes the city as “claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians as a capital.”

While the AP is the keeper of the stylebook, it’s not the only news organization struggling with how to describe the city.  The New York Times in a story Friday referred to the city as one “which Israel claims as its capital despite objections from the city’s large Palestinian population and others throughout the Middle East.”

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama urged the Democratic Party to change the wording in its platform to label Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. The Democrats restored the language of the 2008 platform, which stated “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel” – a line that Democrats had tried to remove this time around.

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