When Should You Use The Actual Offensive Language In News Copy – And When You Shouldn’t

Profanity-laden tirades and coarse language once completely unacceptable in public discourse have become much more common in the past year or so. When this kind of language is connected to something newsworthy, when do you use the actual quote – and when do you write something like “using language not appropriate for broadcast”?

This post from Roy Peter Clark for Poynter is written for print journalists. But when you read it, you’ll find it’s completely adaptable for broadcast copy. And the step-by-step guide in this piece may engender a discussion in your newsroom about what does and does not get written in your news copy.

Posted by Tim Morrissey