Someone who comes from another country to live here. Emigrants leave to live in another country. Migrants go to another country, but usually return.

Note: Asylum seekers, illegal immigrants and refugees are not the same thing.

An asylum seeker is someone who enters a country and asks its government to provide shelter from persecution in their native land. If they are successful, they become refugees with legal and social rights. If they fail but refuse to leave the country, they become illegal immigrants.

It is right to say that people who enter a country and do not declare themselves to customs are illegal immigrants.


To infer is to deduce. To imply is to make a suggestion.


Do not begin with a direct quote and avoid excessive use of proper nouns and punctuation.They should be simple, direct and bright. Use an active voice. Do not make them too long.

Avoid the word “local” (it adds nothing) and only use geography if it is essential to the story.

Claims made in the intro must be borne out in facts or quotes later.




We deal every day with incomprehensible and convoluted language from councils, police, hospitals, etc. Don’t pass it on to our readers, we are in the business of putting details into everyday language. Make it your job to find out what jargon means, and simplify it. E.g. Where a planning document says something is “detrimental to the visual amenity” we say it is “unsightly” or even "ugly".

Beware of words that mean nothing, like “facility” and “event”. Be precise, it will make your stories clearer and punchier.

However, jargon needs to be re-written with care if the meaning is not to be distorted. This particularly true if something has been presented in this way deliberately to confuse or mislead.


Was a common term in the media in the 1990s for car thieves. Has since been dropped because "joy" is too positive a term to be associated with a crime that has left people maimed and killed by speeding, uninsured motorists.




Means final. Don’t report on “the last WI meeting” if you mean the “latest WI meeting”.


Often confused. License is a verb, meaning to give or have official permission. E.g. The pub is licensed to sell alcohol. The councillors licensed the shop to sell shotguns.

Licence is a noun, referring to a document that permits something. E.g. The girl has a driving licence. The man had to apply for a fishing licence.


Never use this word. If you say “The lottery winner was literally over the moon” you’re either talking nonsense, or you’re missing the vital part of the story where the lottery winner bought a space shuttle.


Rarely earns its place in your writing. For a regional paper there's no need to specify something is local (you wouldn't be writing about it if it wasn't). "The local" in reference to a pub is fine.

One good use of it sometimes in nationals: "Responding to protests against the closure of a leisure centre in Manchester, the local MP Bob Brown said..." which avoids having to spell out his full constituency, which would be of little interest to readers in Suffolk.

Lord Lieutenant

The Lord Lieutenant of Kent is the Queen’s representative in the county for official visits etc. There are many Deputy Lieutenants, so if you are naming them always refer to them as “a Deputy Lieutenant” not “the Deputy Lieutenant”.

Ltd, plc etc

Can be dropped from most business names, unless it is essential for a finance story.

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