Journalists told to cut down the word count

The Associated Press has instructed their journalists to trim down their articles to ensure a max of 300-500 word limit is adhered to.

The rule has been put in force due to the lack of staff available at various news outlets to cut down the lengthy stories.

The AP, whose 1500 members include newspapers, websites, radio and TV stations, has also suggested some readers can be put off by longer stories, especially on a mobile device – an increasing medium for digesting news.

However it has been noted that for the top one or two stories of the day the word limit can flex between 500-700 words and an important global article to 700+.

Kathleen Carroll, AP’s executive editor, said in an interview: “We need to be more disciplined about what needs to be said. We don’t do enough distilling and honing, and we end up making our readers do more work.”

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