I need some help on the topic of title case following the Economist Style Guide. Does the possessive pronoun "its" get a capital in Economist style title case or not. There was a recent headline "Israel Protects Its Offshore Gas Fields" and the discussion was whether "its" should be lower case because it's short and not a principal word, or with a capital because it's a possessive pronoun. Any insights?
I took a look at the Economist style guide capitals section here and found no mention of "its."
A search of the Economist website turned up articles with the following titles (bold for emphasis):
Multinationals: China loses its allure
Kenya and its Somalis: Go back home!
Turkey and its neighbours: A reset?
So although the style guide doesn't specifically address the possessive pronoun "its," they consistently leave it lower-case.
As far as I can tell, no. Use normal sentence case, where you capitalize the first word of a headline only. The exceptions are proper nouns, or other capitalized words listed in the style guide's section on capitals.
The guide doesn't address words like "its"; The Economist has little patience with this sort of minutiae. However, as has been pointed out in this answer, The Economist uses sentence case for their headlines and taglines. Reading some recent examples, I found the following:
Demonstrations in Hong Kong
Hong Kong seems doomed to months of ugly confrontation over its political future
Workers of the world, log in
The social network has already shaken up the way professionals are hired. Its ambitions go far beyond that
It's worth reading the following:
From The Economist Style Guide, Tenth Edition:
capitals A balance has to be struck between so many capitals that the eyes dance and so few that the reader is diverted more by our style than by our substance. The general rule is to dignify with capital letters organisations and institutions, but not people; and full names, but not informal ones. More exact rules are laid out below. Even these, however, leave some decisions to individual judgement. If in doubt use lower case unless it looks absurd. And remember that "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" (Ralph Waldo Emerson).