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Guidance: On The Word 'Transcript'

Because the document released by the White House is not a word-for-word record of the conversation President Trump had with the president of Ukraine, please do not simply refer to it as a "transcript." If you use that word, it must be followed by a phrase such as "based on notes taken by staff assigned to listen." Better ways to first reference it include: "an account of the call" or a "memorandum." It is also important to note that it was released by the White House. And we should, when we can, point out that the document itself notes that it is not a "verbatim transcript." Ryan Lucas did just that in a Q&A he recorded for Newscast this morning. He talked about it not being a verbatim transcript and how it is based on the notes and recollections of those assigned to listen.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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