Why no more honorofics?
I would like to inquire as to why, when reporting in the Mirror, titles for people are not now used after the first introduction.
By using titles, eg The Mayor, it is showing the respect that Office is entitled to. This includes Mr, Mrs, Ms etc and if these cannot be used, then it would be better to use their first name, because just using their last name could be meaning anyone.
At least if Bill Smith is the person’s name, it is identifying him as to which Smith you are talking about.
It is not often you get two people with the same first and surname, and if you do have two Smiths in the report, how can you distinguish which Smith you are talking about? Usually they will have different first names.
Other papers still uses titles or first names, which I believe is much more respectful and friendly to read.
Ruth McNamara, Alexandra Editor’s response: As Fairfax NZ becomes more integrated and we share news stories across our various print and online publications, it has been decided that we will no longer use honorifics in stories to ensure consistency.
As you point out, there is a likelihood of confusion if we are quoting from two people of the same surname, but you will see we distinguish between the speakers by using their first names also.
There are times when it may be appropriate for us to use honorifics and we will consider these on a caseby-case basis, but as a general rule our style has changed, which should suit the many people we interview who object to being given a title.