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AP Is Dead … Killed By Blogs & Aggregation

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Old media is epitomized by no news source more than the Associated Press. Literally thousands of journalists are employed around the world to bring current event coverage to readers of thousands of newspapers and their online sites.

AP Is Dead ... Killed By Blogs & Aggregation
AP Is Dead … Killed By Blogs & Aggregation

In the pre-Internet days the AP had little competition beyond a few other news syndicators like Reuters and UPI. The AP’s world has now changed forever with the advent of blogs and news aggregation sites.

Blogs are the new "AP" journalists and aggregation services which started with NewsLinx.com in 1996 (founded by me!) and which now include Google News, Topix, Techmeme, WebProWire and the new Blogrunner have made the AP much less relevant. There are now tens of thousands of  bloggers around the world providing coverage and analysis of current events too! It comes down to why pay when you can get the news for free.

The AP is scrambling to remain needed in this fast paced up to the second blog news world. As reported and analyzed by WebProNews, the AP is suing Moreover for of all things… linking to AP stories. Does the AP not realize that winning this suit would result in less readers of their stories? The old news order is dead, the AP will have to adapt or die.

AP President and CEO Tom Curley does seem to realize that something has to change. In a speech yesterday Curley remarked:

" We — the news industry — have come to that fork in the road. We must take bold, decisive steps to secure the audiences and funding to support journalism’s essential role in both our economy and democracy, or find ourselves on an ugly path to obscurity."

Curley goes on to say that "we must understand and embrace the new ways people are consuming content".

Right …. like blogs and news aggregation and linking! Does the AP really get it? I personally don’t think so. Tom Curley’s entire speech on how news is changing does not even mention blogs or news aggregation. He also seemingly references his linking lawsuit when telling the audience …

" We have the power to control how our content flows on the Web. We must use that power if we’re to continue to be financially secure and independent enough to speak truth to power." 

The Associated Press model of news is dead … dead as can be. It is a business model that pays reporters to travel and write stories and then syndicate those stories to traditional news organizations. This model cannot compete with bloggers who write for free and often live where the news is. Additionally these bloggers are often experts, not just reporters looking in. News is now being reported by the news makers themselves who blog about it and then analyzed by hundreds of experts who themselves blog.

Aggregations sites have made the need for news syndicators like the AP obsolete. Bloggers themselves, by linking to related stories have also become content syndicators.

The AP’s relevance has disappeared. The AP’s business model has evaporated. The AP is dead, killed by blogs and news aggregation.

 

 

 

 

AP Is Dead … Killed By Blogs & Aggregation
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  • http://www.interactivesalsa.com Chip

    So if AP is dead, what about the content creators? Whether it be traditional news reporters, online news outlets or insightful bloggers? The content must come from somewhere. What would a non-AP world look like?

    • Rich Ord

      Hi Chip,

      I answered you specifically in a new article in WebProNews….

      What Would a Non-AP World Look Like?

      Thanks,

      Rich Ord

      CEO, iEntry, Inc. & Publisher of WebProNews

  • http://www.jacklail.com/ Jack Lail

    Most of the aggregators rely on AP for much of their feed so I don’t se ehow they are replacing AP. Google just cut a deal to host AP content for Google News.

    The Moreover suit involves the use of full text AP content, not linking.

    What freaking news sources are you using?

    • Rich Ord

      Jack,

      I cannot agree that most aggregators rely on the AP for their feeds. I am not against the AP, I simply don’t see them as relevant as they once were because of bloggers who are on location of news.

      Google cut a deal with the AP to avoid the same kind of linking lawsuit that Moreover is facing.

      Regarding you understanding of the suit… you are incorrect. I have read the full text of the lawsuit and it does not mention full text, just linking, headlines and 1 paragraph snippets.

      My list of "freaking news sources" is over 1,000, a bit too long for this space.

      Thanks,

      Rich Ord CEO, iEntry, Inc. & Publisher of WebProNews

  • Jim Gillaspy

    I’m not in the media so I have no ax to grind, but I hope you are wrong (and fear you are right.) Professional reporters are supposed to give unbiased reports of events (yes, I know that is just a standard, but it is the standard, nonetheless.) As a reader I have some assurance that what I read from “old media” is at least close to the truth, something that I do not have from you or any other blogger. Your assertion that bloggers that “live where the news is” is certainly no gurarantee of accuracy. Rather it almost certainly a guarantee of local bias, something that someone from “out of town” wouldn’t have. I can create a blog and say anything I like about what I think of the world around me. That may make me feel better, but it is just venting, not reporting, and anyone who relies on what I say on such a blog does so at his or her own risk.

    Show me a “code of ethics” that you and other bloggers subscribe to, and I will believe you. Until then, I hope the “old media” continues to report. To do so, the reports have to be paid, just like any professional. Holding a scapel doesn’t make you a surgeon.

    • Spudrod

      Jim, I have to agree with you 100%, to give total relevance to unknown or self-interested parties and their ventings/opinions can be a dangerous thing. Hiding behind an internet alais, is the worst thing we face these days. It’s the old adage, “If it’s in print it must be true”. Sadly, this can easily perpetuate into a misinformed audience, creating even more misinformation to be scatterted as truth. Who are you and what is your agenda?

  • http://www.secretdm.com/themovie Steve

    AP President and CEO Tom Curley

    what about a writers guild that includes origen of text and royealits to the creator
    of text so published to genreate income for the duplacting uniut of text

    in sound recording
    their are mutipal distrubition locations with rolealites

    why then do these copy right laws have to be re written to acomadiate a new media

    all user of information could share through rolyelties

  • Redbeard72

    The AP is not a news aggregator, it is a news gatherer, there is a difference. For all of its faults, the AP is a primary source – those thousands of reporters all over the world who provide stories for the other “aggregators” such as t.v. networks, papers, and, naturally, bloggers. I think it’s important to keep in mind that, while we in the blogosphere an take news items to another audience and offer different views of them; the original feeds – many of which you mentioned in your piece – are nonetheless vital to this process.

  • Peter123

    Rich,

    It is hard to know where to begin with your little piece of insight. First you seem to feel that bloggers and journalist are on the same footing; they are not. There is a large difference between a journalist who has spent a lifetime honing their craft, and who has to answer to a standard of professionalism and some guy who still lives at home and likes to shoot their mouth off.

    You seem to feel that the future of news is with bloggers. However, this is not born out by current trends. While bloggers were the fad of the day for a few months, people have NOT turned to bloggers for news and information, they have INCREASINGLY turned back to traditional news sources. Why? Because the endless meaningless chatter of bloggers is both annoying and useless.

    Getting your news from bloggers is on par with sitting in a bar full of drunks and asking them what they think of the world. They will all have something to say, and it might be funny, but it certainly will not shed any light on the world.

  • Ian Plumb

    Hi,

    I haven’t founded an aggregation service nor have I written an entry in a blog but I do believe that there is a difference between journalism and blogging. The difference can be seen in this very piece — on the one hand claiming that “AP is scrambling to remain needed” while on the other berating AP for suing Moreover for stealing its IP.

    In the western world it is, I guess, easy to believe that blogging is journalism and therefore blogs when considered as a whole are capable of replacing AP and their competitors. For myself I want to know what is happening all around the world — not just what’s happening around the wired world. So I’d be inclined to ask: How would John Pilger have gotten into Cambodia after the fall of Pol Pot, how would we have found out about the parlous state of that country and it’s inhabitants, if AP was dead and blogs were the only source of news?

    The author of this article claims that “bloggers are often experts”. I had to do a quick Google “define: often” just to see whether the definition of the word had changed while I was asleep. There are some experts who choose to maintain a blog. There are millions of other people who also choose to maintain a blog. I’m not convinced that “often” was the right word to use in these circumstances. Perhaps infrequent, occasional, or even “gem amongst the dross” might have been a more accurate representation of the blogosphere. Then again, I have no barrow to push on this matter. I haven’t founded an aggregation service. The motivation behind the article or the blog post is what I see as the difference between journalism and blogging.

    Many thanks for your time.

    Regards,

    Ian P.

  • http://www.lacetoleather.com Patti Norton

    I have always preferred to get my news from the professionals – who check sources – instead of from bloggers who get their information from other bloggers. That is, when journalists from AP and other major news sources still gave the news like newsmen instead of slanting every story to the left. At least with bloggers you know early on that they are left or right, and they are allowed to be either. Straight news should get back to being unbiased.

  • http://SilverDollarOutpost.com Uncle Joe Adamson

    The convenience of posting articles does not equate to a bumper crop of free journalists. New media “soft” news and features as embodied by bloggers and email-zines are a poor substitute for good reporting skills and professional coverage.

    It’s great that we can search out the voices of the experts, if they can express themselves online, if they don’t wander off into the weeds while opining, if they even have something to say that day. How do I then find a supporting – or an opposing – viewpoint on a subject? Do I wait until a search engine picks up a rebuttal from some other expert? You see the problem there, I hope: I don’t want to follow topics for weeks, nor do all topics warrant that sort of attention from me.

    The internet creates a great opportunity for self-service cub reporting. A pro journalist that can do the interviews and compile the information and communicate it well trumps self-important blowhards with an AOL account all day for me. As a consumer, I differentiate between the diffuse opinion of internet sources and professional news products.

    Like any intellectual work product, the AP does have a point about others profitting from repackaging their work. They’re taking advantage of the Internet to earn without production and seeking support from internet culture for what is psuedo-piracy. The AP is going about it the wrong way, though, and striking a balanced bargain with new media would be a better approach than legal wranglings.

    The AP (and other news organizations) need to return to that area in which they excel: gathering news, compiling information and reporting with reduced bias. I do not require The News Providers to tell me what my opinion should be — but I’d listen to their news.

    • http://newsblaze.com support@newsblaze.com

      You are absolutely correct about quality, Uncle Joe. Much of the time, though, the AP has forgotten how to report news without adding its own spin – thats why I started NewsBlaze.com

      Pro journalists are amazing wordsmiths and most bloggers can’t match them, at least not consistently.

      Those “other sites” aren’t repackaging the AP news, they are providing links to the original AP story, with a headline and occasionally a paragraph of text. I would gladly swap places with the AP – if I could get a million websites stealing my headlines and links like that, I’d throw a party.

      The AP is allowing its lawyers to run the show and they are going to do what lawyers do best – run up massive billable hours.

      The AP needs to call off its lawyers and get a couple of smart people on the case. I know they have a few. (You’d think that I’d prefer they just drive the company into the ground, but that would hurt a lot of great journalists, not to mention al lot of other newspapers, so I really hope they wake up before they do irreparable damage.)

  • http://newsblaze.com Alan Gray

    I wouldn’t say they are dead – yet. If they continue the stupidity they’ve started, then they are digging their own grave.

    As you said, they just don’t have a clue. They are killing off any major site that links to their stories. Their rationale is that Moreover, InterestAlert, Topix and others are making money at their expense by providing headlines and links.

    Their lawyers are driving this and they are shocked, YES SHOCKED that they only just realised that these companies are to blame for their demise.

    Andy Grove said “Only the Paranoid Survive”

    Well, the AP is certainly paranoid. So paranoid, in fact, that they are running around like a chook with its head cut off. (can you tell I’m Australian?)

    They’d better get a new head otherwise they’ll not only keep crashing into things, but they will also run off the cliff that’s right in front of them – then they really will be dead.

    They do have a chance to save themselves, but they might just be too much of a dinosaur to be able to recover, after they rid the internet of links to their stories. After that, they’ll sit back, really pleased with their effort and wait for the traffic to build up again. They’ll be waiting a long time – or at least until the money runs out.

  • peaches1

    I don’t know why you say we are getting the news for free. I wouldn’t say the big fat monthly fee I am paying to stay on line is free.

  • fred dabney

    I spent close to fifty years working in a non-commercial radio station, and AP has
    always had “we see your money up front or
    you don’t get squat” attitude.

    Frankly, I have a hard time feeling sorry for them. They brought it on themselves.

    They claim they are owned and run by the journalists who use it, but as part of a
    university journalism department we never got a break on fees or other restrictions such as networking the service to the variouis studios for our staff or students to use.

  • http://www.netmagellan.com/ Ash Nallawalla

    Preaching to the choir is fine, but I can’t see bloggers getting out of their chairs and blogging riots, wars, famine zones, the NYSE, political speeches, etc **on a consistently reliable basis**.

    Sure, the Baghdad Blogger was an interesting data point during the invasion, but he wasn’t going to replace the embedded journos.

    I’d love to see a posting volume timeline at Feedburner or similar, where we’d find that the volume drops when college football (replace with your favourite diversion) is on – sorry, no news today, we are busy.

    The AP-Moreover suit threatens the web wherever snippeting is involved, particularly the search engines. That is a bigger, but different problem.

  • http://www.bearspage.info Lee A. Wood

    Had never thought about it but you are probably right.
    One of the main sources Canadian broadcasters look to is CP (Canadian Press), as well as AP.
    In my day dreams, when I become PM (Prime Minister of Canada) I would have all radio, and TV, stations read only the stories from CP, and AP, that are related to Canada, cutting out all the US propaganda.
    But your article makes my daydreams as redundant as CP.
    Why should any news; paper, or broadcaster, pay a monthly fee to CP, or AP, when they can get their stories for free.
    This, in turn, raises the questions why would a person pay a monthy fee to have a newspaper appear on their doorstep every morning.
    Which in turn limits the power of any wanna be dictator for how can he control what he wants his people to know.
    The truth is as close as every persons keyboard.
    So much for the US’s propaganda.
    So much for my dreams of running Canada for Canadians.

  • nycwriter

    This is a dangerous road to go down by suggesting the replacement of real news services by those of bloggers and untrained “journalists” who don’t understand the mechanics of the trade, nor do they understand simple things like libel.

    The fact that major news agencies have cited or sourced blogs as reference in legitimate news stories is just plain lazy journalism. It has to stop.

    And because some blog sites have been cited in legitimate news stories we, as an industry, are continuing to erode our credibility — in turn transfering that credibility to sources that should never have received such authority.

    If John Doe decides to expound on the private life of some public figure without any credible source to back it up save opinion, those typed words on a web page will be actionable at some point.

    It’s my belief that while the Internet has had no real rules or regulations, that is changing. I offer the story of the guy in Ohio who took his ex girlfriend to court because she put images of his new girlfriend up on a porn site. And she was found guilty. Responsible. Culpable.

    Much like media is today every time it puts something into print or on the airwaves.

    Without culpability anyone can write anything. Without some kind of safety net, some kind of responsibility to the truth, enforced legally or through ethics, how will the general public know what is real and what is not? Further eroding the credibility of a once-honorable profession.

    As for news feeds, who decides what is news and what isn’t? You. What you leave out (articles you don’t post to your site) is equally misleading as putting up a series of articles that reaffirm an agenda. Yours.

    This article really made me ill. Only because of the implications of what you are saying (and perhaps naively not realizing) and the erosion of responsibility to the public laid firmly in the hands of some anonymous typist.

  • http://www.HBCUkidz.com HBCUkidz

    This is a perfect opportunity for the journalist community to remake itself for the 21st century. Although there is great entertainment and information on many personal blogs, I always personally look forward to cross-referencing facts/dates/chronology with one of my favorite trained reporters. I can’t even imagine a world where you do not have some authoritative resource to confirm history in the making. So I think it is just one of those evolutions that all industries experience when the consumer requires a major reinvention given new choices and options.

  • Mojo Risin

    Excuse me, but these “experts” you cite… do you mean the teenagers and bored adults who bitch and moan on the internet after reading newspaper articles or seeing somebody’s car get hit by a fire truck?

    I’m one of these people, and I’m clear that I am not a reliable source.

    I do not have time to go and interview people, get all the facts, know EXACTLY what happened, and then write it in a powerful way that gets people interested.

    If the Associated Press is so dead, then why is it not “Joe Hobo, random blogger” in the byline? When I read the paper, I see “The Associated Press” in that place.

    It can be argued that suing for linking is a little outrageous. I get that. But the AP is far from dead.

  • http://BizPlusBlog.com Kevin Price

    In addition to being incredibly cheap in the way they provide information (are even free), bloggers and other “people driven” media actually have passion about what they write about. It is similar to the school teacher who got his or her degree in a field with interest and got teaching credentials later. They tend to have something to teach about

    Many journalists know how to write, but don’t have the authority or the passion to make it relevent. Blogging is actually improving the quality of writing in that respect, in my opinion.

    I enjoyed your article and will comment on it at www.BizPlusBlog.com.

    Thanks,
    KP

  • http://newsblaze.com Alan Gray

    I don’t understand what you mean here about Vortal.

    They are doing exactly what Moreover does.

    They have an AP headline and AP summary – they are going to get sued just like moreover. Vortal isn’t going to be providing links to AP stories soon.

  • http://newsblaze.com Alan Gray

    AP already has millions of sites pointing links at their stories. – “a network of headline announcers for stories” as you suggest – If you call yourself a “service” – even if you pay them money – they will shut you down – that is what they are doing right now.

    Those services lead people to their news stories and it is those services they are trying to kill.

    Yes, they need a different set of brains working on this. The ones they have right now seem to be fossilised and they appear to see everything as a threat.

  • http://Photo-Facelift.com CurlyGirly

    The reality of business modules such as AP dying out, of paid press (online access, at least for now) dying out is undeniable.

    The main question is – would a world devoid of thousands of journalists working for news agencies be a better and more reliable world?

    Well, having previously in my life worked as a photo-journalist and journalist in war-zones, I have seen into the world of media a little bit.

    To say all journalists are intelligent, know what’s going on when they briefly visit a place they are sent to cover, speek truth and are objective would be nonsense.

    Some are well trained, honest and really wish to find out what is really going on.
    However, knowledge and insight always depend upon time and circumstances.

    By the latter I mean things like the books and newspapers one reads or your teachers, preachers and local people who you know and whom influence you with their view and version. And even the country where you live – the general public opinion “politically correct and in vogue, government media control levels, the journalists’ media-employer sponsor interests (they need to be profitable by selling advertisement and don’t want to spit into the well they drink from).

    What ends up on TV and papers in some cases is “pre-ordered” with an angle to the story that’s requested. I’ve seen this in Bosnia , Chechnia and in other places. A journalist would arrive to Grozney, Chechnia, for example, oblivious to the hard economic facts behind the Chechen conflict (in this example, it’s Russia’s petrolium movement control and monetization interests), since the soft colorful story would be “more easily understood” by their leading American newspaper.

    Journalists gets paid a nice fee for traveling to a war zone for 2 days to write about what she researched (others like her wrote about): Wild men branding rifles and wearing a Bogart hat roaming the exotic streets. This obviously looks dangerous, romantic and exotic to an American woman who doesn’t live in a war zone.
    I voiced my little Q: Don’t you have gun issues in USA schools? But she , an esteemed writer only hurried off to photograph some of these guys, write her know-it-all magazine piece and hurry to next place.

    In Bosnia, for another example, I saw US TV journalists from some big networks, who had to produce their 1-2 minute pieces according to their editors back home demands: do it about this or that. Regardless if this was not the full picture or the reality. Every word had to be approved in advance.

    Democracy? Freedom of speech? Think again.
    Paid journalism is sometimes like paid blogging- sponsors & advertisers call the shots.

    Journalists are only humane and they can get a prejudice to a place or take sides if they happen to fall in love with someone from one side of the conflict.
    Often they end up reading the same books about a place they are going to, few have time for time-consuming research as they are constantly on the move and need to produce stories every day.

    I met journalists who complained their TV or local media refused to publish stories they had and wanted an ordered specific angle for their coverage, for political reasons.

    Nonetheless, to say all are dispensable would also be a mistake.

    Who says everything that’s blogged is true? Sometimes it is necessary to have an outsider’s view or a professional, unemotionaly uninvolved input as well. Other angels.

    I’ve also had the fortune to meet and work with excellent and expert journalists, though, these usually spend much time in one place/area of their reporting.

    RSS feeds, Blogs etc are great and important to hear view from every aspect and angle, not merely depend upon some employed journalists for information.

    I think a web 2.0 free content style of media is the future.
    What if journalists get sacked because AP and other such news networks go bust?

    A new biz model would evolve.

    This needs some brainstorming…

  • http://www.todaysnews.org.uk News site owner.

    I run a few news sites and my skills lie in SEO above design. In a few years when AP bothers to learn how the internet works and the need for inbound links they will kick themselves.

    Some of my sites rely heavily on other sites Rss feeds, but in return they get traffic from my site and the benefit of a quality inbound link from a relevant page. so everybody wins.

    i love the internet and i am scared that in 5-10 years it will not exist in its current form due to folks like AP and the traffic carriers imposing their views, restrictions and rules on it. we will only be able to read content that large companies/governments want us to see.

    jutt

  • http://www.HawksMedia.com John R Hawks

    There is a lot to be said for the objectivity of professional journalist. Will an insider uncover all sides of story in which they have a vested interest? I am skeptical about trusting a “news maker’s” account of an event or point of view on an issue. I, for one, hope that professional news organizations remain viable and free to report the whole story.

  • Michael Embry

    You need to do some research about the Associated Press. The news cooperative has been around for more than 160 years, so it must be doing something right. The AP has made adjustments in the delivery of news throughout its history, and continues to do so today. The AP is an important component in a free world that treasures unbiased reporting of news and events in the world. The reporters, photographers, and others in the AP are trained professionals who work diligently to deliver news that is accountable to the public. An informed and educated populace will surely trust the AP more than some blog that is baseless, meanspirited, baseless, and without regard to finding and reporting factual infomration. Anyone can write a blog, which is basically an opinion piece (much of which is from AP and other reputable news organizations).

  • http://www.avaiki.blogspot.com jason brown

    Dumb, dumb, soooo dumb!

    Ass-ociated Press surely has got it wrong, as ya say, suing over links!

    Hoo-hoo, haa-haaa!

    Not so sure I am in complete agreement that old media like AP is dead yet.

    In it’s present form, sure.

    But if AP and the others wake up and stop pretending the internet does not exist then watch out.

    Instead of suing over links, APOM (AP+old media) should be actively welcoming, chasing them and, yes, promoting them.

    Why?

    Like global warming, today’s tech typhoons are only only going to grow in frequency and severity. Huge great sucking whirlwinds of information slurped up and randomly scattered all over the show – blogs, RSS feeds, podcasts, youtubes and every other bit of digital debri you care to name.

    Amongst this information insanity, increasing numbers of users will turn to sites that offer internet for idiots – simple, concise, easily accessible overviews of complicated issues written for an average age of 14.

    And who, my swaggering fellow bloggers, are best positioned to do this – and have been for the last 400 years or so?

    Yep, right again, organisations like AP. Ooooolllllld media. You know, like, journalists and stuff.

    Trained information professionals that are familiar with plucking headlines from vast data flows on a daily – stop the press! – HOURLY – basis.

    Sheesh, radio journalists have been updating minute by minute for nigh on a century now.

    As a journo meself, I start researching issues by referring to established sites like the BBC for a “generally accepted” final version of events, then work backwards from there.

    Sure, old media watchdogs are hopelessly compromised by attack dogs from the whole military corporate complex, their political lapdog friends and legacy issues like heroic reporting – being the all-knowing, all seeing voice of wisdom.

    Expect that to change when the bean counters realise there is gold in them thar hills, but only if they stay credible as independent information prospectors.

    Bloggers will push old media debate from see-hear-do-no-evil towards gutsy examination of the causes, not just the symptoms, of modern ills.

    Having to make this leap will greatly weaken the hold advertisers and owners have over old media because those APOMs that ignore what happens out in blogland will get left behind with the buggy whip manufacturers, spin doctors and copyright lawyers.

    AP is dead? Killed by bloggers? Maybe, but for journalists, the party is just getting started.

  • http://www.jacira.com Jacira Castro

    I beg to differ! I find it very strange that you think the AP is dead as I know many, many people who avidly read news online, but never read blogs!

    As fate would have it, the AP just ran a great story a week ago about a con artist named David Srail who is charming, friendly, educated, and who has ripped off people in Ohio, Florida and Texas and is now on the lam, most assuredly preparing to do it again to innocent victims elsewhere. They included a link to one of my websites, www.davesrail.com which is the story of how this con artist does what he does. After the AP article came out, we went from 500 hits a day to over 6000 hits a day. Obviously, there are a lot of people who are reading AP wire stories online!

    Thank you, Associated Press!

  • http://www.jexanalytics.com.au Judd

    From one who has a foot comfortably in either generation, Pre-Blogging and Post, I can offer that News is News, not blogging.

    Despite the fact that I am a professional writer in some aspects, any one of my blogs offers so much personal conjecture and speculation disguised as fact (sometimes by virtue of passion alone) that I may actually leave out all relevant facts.

    I simply wouldn’t trust what’s on a blog as newsworthy, and this is MY OWN content setting the precedent.

    I may be out of line in assuming that many other bloggers are like me, but I think that’s fairly safe, and I wouldn’t trust their reporting of the news any further than I could slapshoot it.

    Dig the writing though Rich, keep it up.

  • Joe

    AP might be having trouble adapting online and in need of some help in exploiting their original content but they will not be replaced by aggregators and bloggers.

    With the former and mostly with the later the relationship to agencies is parasitic.

    Most bloggers are not reporting from the ground but rather they are rewriting or spinning agency news.

    Even if they were all posting from the ground then you would still have the problem of confirming what they are reporting and bias. If you organised them and set standards, pay etc…What would you have? An agency.

    We will always need some agencies in some form to provide content from the ground that can be checked out. Whether that is AP, DPA, Reuters, BBC, CNN or some new one formed from ‘online’ journalists.

    People and businesses require accurate news with a known bias/or not.

    Aggregators are handy for browsing multiple headlines from different sites. Bloggers give alternative opinion and opportunity for direct reporting.

    Neither is in competition with agencies, neither could they replace them. They do not do the same thing.

  • Jason

    Mr. Rich Ord:

    After reading your article I was a little torn. I am in the opinion that change is both refreshing and good for news organizations of all types, AP included of course. However, I am not certain that we should completely rely on average John Doe to deliver adequate news coverage. Of course I may have a slightly prejudice attitude as I am a Freelance Photographer.

    My greatest fear is that my next door neighbor will write the story, and his son with his trusty digital camera will attempt to visually document it. It seems that today’s technology has turned a large portion of society into “experts” of just about anything overnight. I can tell you from personal experience that the introduction of the digital camera to the general public has been a curse to many photographers around the globe. Suddenly everyone has an uncle or cousin that has a digital camera and will gladly photograph their wedding or special event. Why hire a Photographer when you have that available for free? I don’t think it’s necessary for me to point out the many obvious reasons. I fear it will end up the same with journalism of all types. Why would I trust an article written by John Doe from Nowhere, Kansas who just had a hard day at the office? Is he an experienced, trained, professional journalist? No thank you! I’ll take the seasoned veteran reporter any day of the week. I guess I can expect the morning newspaper to soon “evolve” into a few pages written, printed, and delivered by Floyd the barber from Small-town, USA. Why stop there? We need to have a band of “journalist do-gooders” with video cameras and microphones ready to move on a story in a moments notice. Then we can bump the likes of CNN out of the way while we’re at it. Think about it, television reporters have been around for far too long so we might as well consider them “old media”.

    Let’s do the world a favor and think about the long term effects before we hastily condemn an entire industry to extinction.

    Respectfully,

    Concerned Freelancer

  • Doreen Jones

    I rarely read blogs because they have too much room for personal opinion or mis-information. I’m amazed at how many people think because it’s on the internet, it must therefore be true. That’s a scary thought! So, I do agree that the way AP conducts business may be out-dated, but we need the checks and balances of old-time journalism to be sure we get facts, not opinions. There are too many impressionable people in the world who can’t seem to sort through fantasy. A good healthy dose of skepticism is vital. A lie can be spoken into existance.

  • Suzan

    AP is NOT dead. Not by a long shot. To say that AP is dead because of bloggers is to say we need no more opera singers because we all can sing. AP reporters are, hopefully, educated and dedicated. And they have the time and resources to investigate a story. It’s very different than someone who may or may not have any actual knowledge or experience, blathering away about something they may know nothing about. There will always be room in the world for experts.

  • Docfx

    Rich,
    The landscape is changed to be sure, but the AP and its ilk dead? I sincerely hope not.

    Having the access to a keyboard and the ability to blog, does not a journalist nor accuracy make.

    Speed (the rapidity of blogging), Size (the number of people doing so) and Stupidity (failure or blithe disregard to verify and/or cavalier linking to other equally unconfirmed sources) can begin to erode any good foundation, but it doesn’t make blogging better nor the AP useless.

    When the mongolian horde of bloggers begin to measure themselves against the same yardstick of which we expect journalists to adhere, I’ll begin to consider them a credible source.

    The value of the speed at which the info (via blog) erodes quickly against the time required to verify its hearsay evidence.

    As long as self-professed bloggers and founders of entities such as “NewsLinx.com”, publish unabated and with less regard for the reader than for being heard.

    (Case in point, Further ‘dumbing down the language’ with phrasing such as “Does the AP not realize that winning this suit would result in less [sic] readers of their stories?”, doesn’t help your argument)

    Readers are people (not just a mass audience for bloggers’ diatribes) and therefore ‘countable’. As such, it (the lawsuit) might result in ‘fewer’ readers, but never ‘less’.

    But apparently ‘less’ readers, similar to having ‘less’ pimples on Jennifer Love Hewett’s face (acc’d to the Proactive commercial) is acceptable.

    Let us hope the AP and the language isn’t dead.

  • Eric Brantingham

    Blogs are a joke. They can’t be relied apon for accurate information. They are mostly people who are bored or pushing an agenda.

  • Miles Davis

    There is a place for both AP and blogs. This article was obviously written to be controversial which is something you must be feeling pressure to do. Since you’re so black and white about the issue that is clearly not (e.g. “AP is dead”), your credibility takes a hit.

    And that’s a fundamental difference. The AP has more credibility and accountability than many of these blogs. Having a local blogger in the the place where the news is happening is of course useful to take into account – that local person will have different biases though, so I would look to AP for the facts.

    It’s about credibility – AP has earned much more of it than webpronews.com

  • http://mercercountyblog.freddiemoorer.com freddie

    Call me a dinosaur if you like, but I still enjoy that first cup of joe and my morning newspaper. Yes, I read news online as well and read a few bloggers too but the thought of starting my day at the computer with my coffee is just asking for and techno disaster. At least with a paper disaster I am only out about 25 cents, not so with coffee across the keyboard. I think the AP will be around for a while yet.

  • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterSanders

    There is one primary difference between The AP and bloggers.

    Newspapers print what AP puts out. They often refuse to print what bloggers write. And even when they do, they heavily EDIT what the bloggers write.

    Bloggers are known to be unfiltered, unvarnished and — espescially in political coverage — highly biased.

    As a blogger and a former newspaper journalist, you don’t have to tell me that there is no such thing as genuine objectivity in news reporting. Coverage of the Iraq War has proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    And I don’t pretend to be unbiased in my blog articles. But I do strive to be accurate as well as infomative in my blog postings. I am my own editor; nobody tells me how to write my stories.

    This isn’t to say that The AP doesn’t have its place; I rely heavily on it for source material for my blogs. But The AP MUST change if it is to survive in the Internet age. Ditto for newspapers.

  • http://www.foxtech.org tech news

    Of course they are dead if they can’t adapt to the new changes in technology. Reinvent yourself. You tought you’ll be financialy independent for all your lives? Big mistake.

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