What is the correct way to reference the president?


Whenever the president of the United States or a former president visits the islands, the station receives calls and emails on how the president is addressed.

Standard media protocol is to call the president by his name and title on the first reference, so currently President Donald Trump or President Trump. All following references are either Mr. Trump, Trump, or sometimes just the president.

Note also that in the media the president is referred to in the third person, it is not a direct address. A direct address would be Mr. President.

The Associated Press stylebook, which most media outlets use as their standard, wrote the following:

“Use the first and family name on first reference to a current or former U.S. president or the president-elect: former President Jimmy Carter, President Barack Obama, President-elect Barack Obama. On subsequent references, use only the last name.”

Version of this standard has been used by almost all media outlets for decades.

The only recent changes in protocol was removing “Mr.” in the second reference and including a first name in the first reference by the AP in 2008.

You may have also noticed that president is also lower case in this article. The standard is to capitalize president only as a formal title before one or more names.

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