How should NPR refer to President Bush?
Frequently on NPR news shows, reports dealing with the U.S. president refer to him as "President Bush" once, but then all additional references are to "Mr. Bush". This seems unique to the president, as other people with titles are always addressed as Sen. Smith or Dr. Jones, etc. Is there a reason why President Bush does not get the same consideration?
Using the Honorific
The title, such as "President," "Mr." or "Ms.", in front of a name is called an honorific. NPR uses the honorific "President" on first reference and then "Mr." for all subsequent mentions. This has been NPR's style going back at least to the Ford administration. Most other broadcasters have the same policy. It also makes for better writing to vary the honorific.
Newspapers seem to have a different standard. For some reason, the president is usually referred to as "President Bush" or "the president," on first reference. But the honorific is rarely used on second reference. And in newspaper headlines particularly, the solitary "Bush" is often seen.
The president is the only person who -- by decree and tradition at NPR -- gets the honorific. All others who are mentioned in news reports are usually referred to by their title or occupation on first reference ("Jane Doe is a reporter for The New York Times..."). After that, it's surnames only.
comments powered by Disqus
- Joan Baez, Sly Stone, Steve Martin, Ben E. King -- all honored by the Library of Congress
- StoryCorps to Launch Global Expansion With $1M TED Prize
- Hofstra Event Looks at Bush Presidency
- Did Israel steal uranium from a town in Pennsylvania in the 1960s?
- Sequel to Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom to be published next year
- OAH denounces anti-gay legislation signed by Indiana governor
- Emory’s Leslie Harris says we should remember the racist roots of American colleges as we think about what went wrong at OU and other schools
- Stanford historian looks to the U.S. Postal Service to map the boom and bust of 19th-century American West
- U.S. historian denounces Japanese scholars' statement over wartime sexual slavery
- Timothy V Johnson Named Head of Tamiment Library