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Public editor: Bradley or Chelsea? How The Globe will refer to Private Manning

In this Aug. 16, 2013, file photo, army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted to a security vehicle outside a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., after a hearing in his court martial.

Patrick Semansky/AP

Thursday morning, Private Bradley Manning announced that he is a female and wants to live as a woman named Chelsea.

The Reuters story that The Globe is running online refers to the convicted former junior intelligence analyst as Manning on second reference. But the question was raised of how to describe Manning on second reference and in future stories.

Manning, 25, launched an unprecedented bid to get female hormone treatment in a military prison a day after being sentenced to 35 years for leaking documents to the WikiLeaks website.

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While The Globe and Mail often waits for a formal name change, as it did with Research in Motion's name change to BlackBerry, there is a different practice for individuals, who want to make a permanent name change.

Although there is nothing specific in The Globe and Mail's style guide, the practice for transgender people, has been to respect the wishes of the individual as to whether he or she wishes to identify as a woman or a man.

Future stories about Manning should refer to both identities, so The Globe's articles will say Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Pfc. Bradley Manning, and Ms. Manning or she on second reference.

Sinclair Stewart, Editor of News and Sports, said: "We have to balance the need to respect an individual's desires with the need to inform readers in a way that is both clear and accurate."

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About the Author
Public Editor

Sylvia Stead has been a reporter and editor at the Globe since 1975, after graduating from the University of Western Ontario in Journalism with a minor in Political Science. She won the Board of Governors Award there in 1974. As a reporter, Sylvia covered courts, education and Queen's Park. More

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