AP Is Dead … Killed By Blogs & Aggregation

    November 2, 2007

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.