This letter by Jihad Watch reader Winoceros was addressed to Jean Marbella of the Baltimore Sun, but could just well have been written to any mainstream media journalist at any mainstream media “news” outlet, since they all do the same thing.
There was no answer from Marbella, of course.
Dear Ms. Marbella,
Thank you. I have a question. I am not picking on you as a journalist, I often wonder if there is a style guide for certain ideas, but I noticed in your article you refer to “the Prophet Mohammed”.
Journalists are not in the habit of writing “Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” or even “Jesus Christ.” I am not particularly religious by any stretch of the imagination, but wouldn’t it be more neutral to write, “Islam’s prophet, Mohammed”?
By putting “Prophet” in proper form, it seems as if The Baltimore Sun believes Mohammed is “Prophet.” This seems a little odd, and maybe (since number of characters is relevant to publishing) just say “Mohammed,” as one would “Jesus” or “Buddha.”
Thank you so much for thinking about this; maybe kick it around the next staff meeting?
No need to respond if you prefer not to; again, this is more a question of journalistic neutrality rather than your style. If you have thoughts to share, though, I welcome that, too.