New York Times and Wall Street Journal ease profanity restrictions

Don’t send a press release that’s nothing but expletives, though. The policy is still to avoid vulgarity when possible.

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If the precise nature of an obscenity, vulgarity or other offensive expression is essential to the reader’s understanding of a newsworthy event — not merely to convey color or emotion — editors should consider using the term or a close paraphrase.

Eric Levenson of The Wire notes that the Times isn’t alone. The Wall Street Journal has eased its rules on using obscenities as well.

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