Different times, different approach
When I was a beat reporter starting in the mid-1970s, I was taught to wait until the Associated Press used the term “President-elect” to designate the winner of a presidential election.
But the AP and so many in the “major media” are not the services they used to be relative to being as unbiased as they could be.
The Electoral College will meet on Dec. 14, 2020, to vote for the next president of the United States. Jane Hampton Cook, presidential historian, author and former White House staffer to President George W. Bush says it may not be necessary to use the term at this time. “If President Trump had conceded this election at this time, then sure, calling Former Vice President Biden ‘President-elect’ would be highly appropriate,” Cook said. “It’s not necessarily inappropriate to call Biden president-elect, I just don’t think it’s absolutely necessary.” Cook says there’s no harm in reassuring voters of the results. She says not only will Biden and Trump benefit by confirming the election was conducted free and fair but ensure confidence in future elections as well.
Bottom line: It will only be President-elect once the Electoral College meets and votes. Old habits die hard, so if I flub up, it’s not by design.