Canadian Press Style
Presentation by Andy Watson
What is CP Style?
CP stands for Canadian Press (www.cp.org)
CP Style was developed to create consistency and was an
―operator‘s guide‖ for staff at The Canadian Press,
Canada‘s national news agency
The CP Stylebook is a guide for writers and editors
CP Caps and Spelling book has the goal of bringing together
the proper names and abbreviations most likely to cause
problems for those handling copy in Canadian newsrooms
The Canadian Oxford Dictionary is the default resource for
anything not covered in either the CP Stylebook or CP
Caps and Spelling
CP Style and SIDs
While we do not work in newsrooms and while
we do cater to many different media (not just
the print media or ‗press‘), CP Style is important
to establish uniformity, consistency and
ultimately to make it easier for the public to read
and for editors to insert into publications or
CP Style is the official style of the CIS and OUA
CP Style 101
The goal of this presentation is to:
1. introduce CP Style and its resources to all SIDs
2. provide a guideline and brief tutorial on CP Style and how
to incorporate it into your releases, stories and other written
3. teach the writing and editing skills to help reduce the
amount of editing required for the CIS and OUA offices and
the media outlets which receive our work – and ultimately
increase the reach of our material to better promote OUA
and CIS sports and their student-athletes
What does CP want from us?
The Canadian Press serves about 90 daily newspapers and more than 500
radio and television stations across the country. Having said that, they are
losing clients (Globe, Sun Media). CP is also Canada's largest provider of
From Julie Scott, CP assistant sports editor:
Most media outlets rely on us for the majority of their CIS game and
event coverage, so it's a high priority for us... but the more help we get
from the sport information officers, the better our CIS file is.
Inconsistency and timeliness
416-507-2154 or 1-800-236-5656
Human interest pitches with national appeal:
CP Sports Editor Neil Davidson - email@example.com
Simple, plain language
Why say something complicated when something
written in plain language will do
The back of CP Caps and Spelling has a full section of words
which are often used that can be simplified
A few examples we see in our releases
complimentary = free
determine = decide
in the event of = if
numerous = many
physician = doctor
remainder = rest
remarked = said
CP Style is ―–our‖ not ―–or‖ for colour, labour,
honour, neighbour and other such words
CP Style also reflects ―Canadian‖ spellings that are
different from American spellings. Some examples
(American form in brackets) except on placenames:
offence (offense) but offensive
defence (defense) but defensive
Capitalize all proper names, the names of
departments and agencies of national and
provincial governments, trade names, names of
associations, companies, clubs, religions,
languages, races, places and addresses
Otherwise, lowercase is favoured where a
reasonable option exists
Worst offenders: job titles (lowercase head coach,
athletic director, media relations officer etc...)
All-capital abbreviations are written without
periods (OUA, CIS, QSSF, AUS, NCCP, NHL)
unless the abbreviation:
is geographical (U.S., B.C., P.E.I., U.K.);
refers to a person
or is a single letter
Mixed abbreviations that begin and end with a
capital letter do not take periods (eg. PhD)
British Columbia B.C.
New Brunswick N.B.
Nova Scotia N.S.
Prince Edward Island P.E.I.
Northwest Territories N.W.T.
Most stories carry a placeline as their first piece of information (to tell a
reader where most of the story took place)
The community is followed by a province or territory with the exception of
well-known cities. In Canada:
Compound words may be written solid (website), open
(oil rig) or hyphenated (yo-yo). Style is usually
determined by the most common usage. A new
compound is normally written at first as two or more
words, becomes increasingly hyphenated and finally is
combined into one word
For compound words, follow spelling in the Canadian
Oxford Dictionary unless listed in CP Caps and Spelling or
the CP Stylebook
If the word is not listed in any of the above, write as
two separate words
Only hyphenate when listed in CP Caps and Spelling, CP
Stylebook, the Canadian Oxford Dictionary or when words
are joined to alter the meaning of another word. Use a
hyphen to avoid doubling a vowel, tripling a consonant
or duplicating a prefix. And, in general, hyphenate
when preceding a noun:
CP Sports: Measurements
CP generally uses metric to measure distances and
Personal measurements continue to be imperial
The centre stood at six foot three and played...
He was a six-foot-three centre who played....
Jones, a centre, stood at 6-3, 220 pounds...
When measurements consist of two or more elements,
do not use commas
She stood five foot three
She was timed at two hours 15 minutes 32 seconds
CP Style: Rules of Thumb
5 Ws and How (refer to Handout)
LEAD: Who, what, when, where, why
Who played, what was the score, where and when played
BODY: How and more about why
People may only read one line, so give them what they want
The reader should have the meat of the story after the first
three or four paragraphs
Human interest story
Avoid clichés, repetition
Full name first reference, just last name on subsequent
Write in the active tense:
SUBJECT – VERB – OBJECT
Eg. ―The final game of the Stanley Cup playoffs was
won by the Pittsburgh Penguins.‖
CHANGE (remove was to keep active) to: ―The
Pittsburgh Penguins won the final game of the
Stanley Cup playoffs.‖
Helps with flow, ease for editors and reader
Top 10 CP Style Tips
1. Write out numbers under 10 - use digits for 10 and above
exclusion is stats
2. Do not use honorifics (Mr., Miss) unless medical doctor
3. Eliminate unnecessary use of caps
―Keep the punctuation inside quotation marks,‖ said CP Style
exclamation points – don‘t use them unless you need to (eg. quote)
Don't put words in people's mouths, attribute it
Reduces liability/negligence – creates accountability
Why we use attribution (and edit)
From a CIS Women’s Volleyball championship:
UBC coach Doug Reimer was happy with the way his team performed.
He commented on just how hard they have worked to get here and the
transition his team underwent this season after a disappointing
performance last year. In his opinion the turning point came in the
first set. He discussed how they were being outplayed but managed to
overcome this with good serves, strong play up front and great
defense. UBC has earned a reputation of being a strong defensive club.
They led the western conference this year by holding opponents to a
low .119 hitting percentage. Coach Reimer and his team are proud of
this achievement and he was eager to share the secret to his team‘s
success. ―It begins with good serves then strong blocking and
backcourt defense, it doesn‘t hurt that we are a big team either.‖
Here's a BONUS from the same game recap:
Sherbrooke got on the board first but UBC scored slightly more
during the first set and took it 25-21.
Top 10 CP Style Tips
7. Become a master in your area - sports
i. water polo
ii. Grey Cup (not Gray)
iii. learn ways to avoid repetition
8. Canadian spellings
9. City in colour
include hometowns and add in placelines in your stories to increase
know your abbreviations and exceptions to province rule
10. Edit and Proof your work.
REMEMBER: If in doubt, check the CP Caps and
Spelling or CP Style Guide
Why we edit and use CP Style
This is an actual press release distributed to the media:
The WolfPack strated out with the first point, then the Cascades
picked up a few to lead for a few minutes, then lost the lead to the
WolfPack, which held it throughout most of the first half until
the Cascades tied up the game with just over four minutes to go,
then took a slim lead until a sweet 3-pointer by the WolfPack’s
Lucian Sauciuc (Coquitlam) gave the ‘Pack a one-point lead
with just over two minutes left to play. The Cascades’ Kyle
Graves (Chilliwack) put one in the net to tie up the score again,
then a quick basket by the Cascades’ Joel Haviland
(Abbotsford) and five successful Cascades free-throws pulled the
score up to 39-35 for the Cascades at the half.
Why we edit and use CP Style
Game 1: No. 1 Marlets win opener at smart Canada
OTTAWA - Catherine Ward and Shauna Denis scored eached shorthanded as
the top ranked McGill University Martlets won the opening game of the 2007
smart Canada CIS women's hockey championship Friday afternoon at the
University of Ottawa Sports Complex.
Championship website: www.cisport.ca/e/championships/w_hockey/2007
McGill opened the scoring shorthanded as Catherine Ward went end-to-end
shorthanded and snapped a low shot through the five-hole of Manitoba
netminder Stacey Corfield with less than two minutes to play in the opening
McGill struck hit the target early in the second period with their second
short-handed tally of the contest, as Shauna Denis took a Christine Hartnoll
pass in the slot and beat Corfield through the pads.
How do we avoid repetition in this example?
Groups of four or five
Edit each release in your group – when next
called, move onto next release
Group will need a presenter to call out typos
Will assist with working under pressure and
testing your current CP Style knowledge
REMEMBER: If in doubt, check the CP Caps
and Spelling or CP Style Guide
To become a CP Style Master you must read it...
it‘s great bedside table or bathroom reading
Sample – All Play
Green wins game by fifteen
Sarnia, Ontario - Green won the game 5-2 in Coed Hockey over Blue at bluewater arena on Friday January 18 in front of four
Mike Grobe coughed up the puck in the neutral zone with the score tied at 2 and Michelle Pino streaked down the wing and shot
from ten feet out to score the game winning goal. Grobe (Kingston, ON) said he regretted the error.
"I thought I had an opening", Grobe said. "But Pino is shifty. Full credit, she earned it."
Green coach Elisa Mitton said Pino's goal gave the team new life.
"Everyone on our bench was given a boost of energy, its not every day you see a great goal like that. It's a huge honor for us," she
Meanwhile, Blue coach Ari Grossman said Grobe made an uncharacteristic mistake.
"Grobester has been great for us all year. But in this game, he made two many mistakes. Its unfortunate.
Four minutes into the game, Green took a one to nothing lead when Alyson Grant (North York, Ont.) rifled the round black disc
from 18 feet out which eluded Blue goalie Dan Carle (Ottawa).
David Kent (Ottawa) took a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct a minute later, and Mary Beth Challoner (Toronto) scored to
make it 2-0 on the Power Play.
But Mike Whitehouse (Waterloo, ON) scored back-to-back-goals before the end of the first period to tie the game.
Jill Clark (Toronto) hit the post early in the second period as the green team seamed to have the blue team on it's heals.
Just 4 minutes later, Pino scored the game winner.
Then with Shawn Whiteley (Saint Catherines, Ont.) and Chris Gilbert (Waterloo) in the penaltybox, Jessica Lounsbury (Hamilton,
Ont.) scored to make it 4-2.
Late in the third, Earl Zukerman (Montreal) and Andy Watson (London, Ont.) were seen fighting on the Blue team-bench over
who should have won the 2009 Queen's Cup.
"I just despise purple," Zukerman said. "Watson had it coming. I have 0-tolerance for his antics."
The distraction caught the blue-team offguard and Green scored the fifth goal despite the best effort of Scott Dennis (Oshawa,
Ont.) who had come in to replace Carle in between the pipes.
The Blue team was without star Cam Dunlop (Hamilton, Ont.) and starting goalie Jim McLarty (Toronto) who were both
Green now moves on to play Red in Ottawa. Michel Belanger (Ottawa) leads Red in scoring this season with 9 goals and seven
Sample – Group 1
LONDON — Western Mustangs star Andy Fantuz has proven to be the most lethal threat at his position in Canadian
Interuniversity Sport football this season.
And if numbers are a true indicator, the fourth-year Chatham, ON should go down as the greatest wide receiver in university
history. Fantuz needs just seven more catches to eclipse the all-time CIS receptions record of 186, established by Stefan Ptaszek of
the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks from 1990 to 1994.
After hauling in 7 balls for a season-high 151 yards and two touchdowns in Western's loss to Laurier last Saturday, Fantuz is on
the cusp of establishing his third and final major career receiving record.
His current total of 3,940 yards is 753 more than the number two player on the list, Ryan Janzen of the McMaster Marauders
(3,187 yards from 1996 to 2000). Fantuz broke that record in 2004, just his third year of Western football. His 39 touchdowns are
also a CIS best for a receiver, leaving Ptaszek's reception mark as the only record still to fall.
What's arguably most impressive about Fantuz's accomplishments is that he is constantly the centre of attention for opponents
but that extra awareness doesn't help defenses slow him down. Secondaries have no answer for his superior hands and athletic 6-
4, 220-pound frame.
"He is the best at the ball I've ever seen", says Western head coach Larry Haylor. "The absolute best possession receiver ever. He
gets doubled constantly, impeded, fouled, and yet he puts up huge numbers each game.
The 21 year old Mustang has manufactured some prolific statistics over the course of his record-breaking career. In the final two
regular season games of his rookie year in 2002 — in which he set the regular season mark of 1,300 receiving yards -- he had a
combined 18 catches for 500 yards and six touchdowns, three in each outing. Fantuz finished with a career-high 57 receptions that
season and then followed that with 39 catches for 905 yards and eight touchdowns in 2003 and 49 catches for 1,093 yards and
nine touchdowns in 2004.
Despite recovering from emergency surgery on his thigh this summer, an injury that threatened his football future, he has been
dominant in `05, going just one game in his first six without scoring at least a single touchdown. Fantuz has registered 100-plus
yards in four of those games and leads the CIS with 10 touchdown receptions. His best performance may have been in Western's
55-31 comeback win over McMaster in week three of the regular season when four of his six catches went for touchdowns, three
of which came in the final 4:03 of the second quarter to rally the Mustangs.
Fantuz's playoff numbers are equally impressive. In five career post-season games, he has made 26 catches for 538 yards and four
touchdowns. He is considered the early favourite to go first overall in the 2006 Canadian Football League draft.
Comprised of eighteen institutions, Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is the governing body of university sport in Ontario.
Each year 9,000 student-athletes compete for 40 provincial championships in 24 sports. For more information on Ontario
University Athletics, please visit our web site at www.oua.ca.
Sample – Group 2
X-Women Rugby Win McEwen Cup
In a rain-filled, muddy Sunday afternoon exhibition match-up played at StFX Oland
Stadium on Oct. 9, the rugby X-Women defeated the McGill Martlets 12-5 to win the
second annual McEwen Cup.
The Cup game was established last year by McGill University to honor and thank the
McEwen family, a Montreal family who donated land for McGill Athletics playing fields.
The Martlets won the inaugural game last year over the X-Women, but were handed a loss
this time around. Tanya Boiteau and Kirsten Sample each scored tries for StFX and
Michelle Birks added a conversion.
Following the match, two members of the McEwen family were on hand to present head
coach Mike Cavanagh and the X-Women captains with the McEwan Cup.
Sample – Group 3
Western Suffers First Loss at Hands of Hawks
LONDON - Veteran kicker Brian Devlin of Sarnia, Ont. set school history, becoming the career scoring leader as the Wilfrid Laurier
Golden Hawks defeated the Western Mustangs 32-17 in front of 6,035 at TD Waterhouse field.
The Golden Hawks racked up 553 yards in a diverse set of play calling by Offensive Coordinator Stefan Ptaszek. The ground attack
accounted for 315 of the yards while fifth year pivot Ryan Pyear of Belleville, Ont. connected for the remaining 223. Pyear finished the
game 15 of 21 for 223 yards and a touchdown and interception as he connected with seven receivers.
"The offensive line controlled the game for us and helped us execute as well as we did today," said Ptaszek. "Getting on the top of the
mountain is tough, but staying there is even tougher. so we've got to work twice as hard in the upcoming games."
Devlin, 27, surpassed the record of Jerry Gulyes set back in 1979 as the career scoring leader on the second point-after-touchdown of
the game. The 6-0, 175lb kicker entered the contest with 216 all-time points - just two shy of the record and moved within one on the
first kick off the game - with an 80-yard boot for a single.
"It feels pretty good to pick up the record, but even better to get the win over Western," said Devlin after the game. "When you play on
a good team, like ours has been over the past couple years, a lot of credit goes to the offence."
Laurier's defense was effective at stopping the Western attack, which only moved the ball 291 yards. For the first time this season,
Western was held to less than 90 rushing yards. Receiver Andy Fantuz finished the day with seven receptions for 151 yards and the
Mustangs only two majors.
Gavin Cond of Sault Ste. Marie led the team in tackles with 8.5. Jesse Alexander of Waterloo also had a good showing with four tackles,
two sacks and a forced and recovered fumble. Yannick Carter, Dave Montoya also had a sack each in the contest.
Norland's Nick Cameron continues to lead the Hawks in yards as he racked up 176 yards over 27 carries, including two touchdowns.
Andrew Baechler of Ayr, Ont. had two catches for 82 yards and seven yards on the ground on route to his two touchdowns.
"It's especially great to come out of London with the 'W'," said Manager of Football Operations and Head Coach Gary Jeffries. "We
have some areas that we need to keep improving... and we'll do that. The next couple of weeks are the ones that are significant for us.―
The undefeated and #3 nationally ranked Golden Hawks (6-0) continue their now 15 regular season win streak at home next weekend
against the York Lions (3-3), while the #6 ranked Western Mustangs (5-1) travel to Ottawa to take on the Ottawa GGs.
Sample – Group 4
Gee-Gees snap Western's 44 game unbeaten streak
Ottawa - The University of Western Ontario Mustangs women's soccer team hit a wall in the form of the Ottawa Gee-Gees on
Sunday afternoon, as the Garnet and Grey knocked off the nation's second ranked team 3-1 at the University of Ottawa Sports
Complex, ending the Mustangs string of consecutive regular season games without a loss at fourty-four.
Western's last regular season loss occurred on October 4, 2000 when UWO dropped a 2-1 decision to the Windsor Lancers. With
the victory, the seventh ranked Gee-Gees (5-0-2) kept pace with the Queen's Golden Gaels (5-0-2) for top spot in the OUA East
2004 All-Canadian Cristina Bonasia opened the scoring for the Mustangs in the tenth minute of the game with a shot that ended
up in the upper right hand corner of the Gee-Gees goal. But the lead was short-lived as Ottawa replied two minutes later when
Val May beat keeper Jennifer Van Dyk off of a goal-mouth scramble.
After dominating the opening 45-minutes of play, the Gee-Gees took control of the match in the final period, with the game-
winning goal coming of the foot of Meaghan Girard in the 60th minute of the contest. Val May put the game away in the last
minute of full-time scoring her eighth goal of the campaign.
Ottawa head coach Steve Johnson was pleased with his team's performance on Sunday. "We play a very good match, especially in
the second half when the girls did a better job in communicating on the field." He added that "we spoke about that during the
halftime and the team responded well." Up next for the Gee-Gees is a Friday afternoon road match when they travel down the
Rideau Canal to face their arch-rivals from Carleton University (3-0-3) whom they tied on Friday night 1-1 at the Sports Complex.
In looking forward to the grudge match, Johnson commented, "We still have a something to prove next Friday at Carleton as we
played a poor game against the Ravens in our last outing." Kick-off for the all-Ottawa match-up is slated for 1 pm at Keith Harris
Stadium and the game will be broadcast live on Rogers Television.
Bonus Coverage: Classic
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
QUARTERFINAL 1: 2008 CIS women’s volleyball championship
Alberta vs. Saint Mary’s
Feb. 27, 2008
FREDERICTON (CIS) – The Alberta Pandas faced off against the St.Mary‘s Huskies in the first match of the
CIS finals at the University of New Brunswick on February 28th.
Championship web site: www.cisport.ca/e/championships/w_volleyball/2008
The first set had the Pandas come out strong against the Huskies. #12 Meggie Moir (Cold Lake, A.B.)
contributed a big kill, putting the Pandas up 8-2 at the first technical time out. A quick rally ensued following
the time out and even as St.Mary‘s tried to battle back with #11 Carrie Smith (Shubenacadie, N.S.) scoring
three consecutive kills, Alberta overpowered them taking the set 25-18.
The Huskies looked to make an impact early on in the second set scoring first from #11 Kerri Smit
(Shubenacadia, N.S.). Alberta came out flat but battled backed led by #8 Alexa Berton (Saskatoon, S.K.) and
#10 Tiffany Proudfoot (Calgary, A.B.). At the second technical timeout Alberta was again in the lead 16-7.
The Huskies attempted a come back late in the set but it was all Pandas again as they took the set 25-13.
Set number three had both teams battling hard for every point and the game flowed back and forth. Alberta‘s
#8 Alexa Berton (Saskatoon, S.K.) again made an impact as well as #12 Meggie Moir (Cold Lake, A.B.). The
first technical time out had Alberta up by 2 points (8-6) and the second technical time out had the Huskies still
keeping it close and down only by 4 (16-12). St.Mary‘s held on and after a long distance kill from #11 Carrie
Smith (Shubenacadia, N.S.) it looked like they might overtake Alberta. The Pandas had another outcome in
mind and continued their solid play. The set point was won by # 2 Jocelyn Blair (St. Albert, AB) to take it 25-
The match went in three straight sets to Alberta with their player of the match going to #8 Alexa Berton
(Saskatoon, S.K.) who had 6 kills and 4 blocks. St. Mary‘s player of the game was awarded to #11 Karri Smith
with 16 kills and 12 digs.