NewsGuild-CWA Member Gets AP Stylebook Definition of So-Called "Right-to-Work" Changed

A member of the News Media Guild/TNG-CWA Local 31222 has successfully petitioned the Associated Press to update its Stylebook entry on so-called "right-to-work" laws to ensure that reporting on these laws accurately conveys the meaning of the anti-worker term. 

"'Right-to-work' is a loaded and inaccurate phrase," News Media Guild Vice President and AP journalist Mike Warren wrote. "By endorsing the use of right-to-work without quote marks, the AP is adopting a public relations device created in opposition to the labor movement."

The Stylebook editors updated the "right-to-work" entry to recommend that the phrase be used in direct quotes or with quote marks for the purpose of explaining the term, and advises, "Avoid using this non-neutral phrase generically and without definition since employees covered by union contracts can freely work with or without such laws."

The change not only affects the way this phrase is used by AP, but will also apply to the many publications that subscribe to the AP and use the Stylebook to govern their usage.