Charlotte stuck with N.C.

Jill Santuccio
Jill Santuccio

Editor’s note: These items ran in 2012 as part of the Observer’s ‘Dish on DNC’ column during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.


AP, stop it with the Charlotte, N.C., will you?

Our city has the Panthers, the Bobcats, Bank of America and even the dang Democratic National Convention. And still news readers around the USA have to be reminded that we are Charlotte, N.C.?

Baltimore has fewer people, but you won't see Baltimore, Md., atop news stories about prize crab cakes or baseball Orioles.

This dateline bias does not sit well with many Charlotteans, including those of us at the Dish. But now one proud Charlotte transplant is taking action.

And Jill Santuccio - owner of PRISM Communications, a Charlotte PR firm - thinks the convention could help our cause for a stand-alone dateline.

To host the DNC, Charlotte beat out St. Louis, Cleveland and Minneapolis. So isn't it just a little bit INFURIATING that we are the only one still saddled to a state ID?

Of the 46 cities that have hosted the Democratic Convention, former journalist Santuccio discovered, only three needed a state for news readers to locate them - Atlantic City, N.J. (1964), Kansas City, Mo. (1900), and Charleston, S.C. (1860).

The rest of them - including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Atlanta and, yes, Baltimore - didn't need no stinkin' state abbreviation behind their name.

So, Santuccio has written the Associated Press editorial board to make the case for a change in the revered AP Stylebook that dictates which cities get stand-alone datelines and which don't.

When Santuccio, now 44, went to journalism school, the professor would give a closed-book quiz on such things. "I've always been an AP Stylebook geek," she told us.

Not only does AP follow its stylebook; so do many newspapers. Santuccio hasn't heard back yet from AP, whose reasons for sticking Charlotte with N.C. are so-outta-date. Santuccio is a Rochester, um, N.Y., native. But she's been in the Queen City, N.C., for 22 years, and she wants her adopted city to finally get its due, dateline-wise.

"Getting a stand-alone dateline would be another sign that we have arrived, " she says.


AP has spoken: Wire service stories about our big-enough-to-get-the-DNC city will continue to have Charlotte, N.C., not just Charlotte, as the dateline.

CLT crusader Jill Santuccio got the dispiriting news in an email from David Minthorn, AP Stylebook co-editor.

"AP stories are transmitted globally, and more detailed datelines help readers overseas and elsewhere grasp news locations, " he e-wrote.

So why standalone datelines for Denver? Baltimore? St. friggin' Louis?

Santuccio - owner of PRISM Communications, a Charlotte PR firm - says she's not giving up. Next step: A petition!