What Would a Non-AP World Look Like?

    November 3, 2007


In a previous article I wrote that the AP is dead, killed by blogs and aggregation. A reader named Chip asked, "And then what? So if AP is dead, what about the content creators?

This discussion was prompted by a speech by the CEO of AP here.

Chip continued,

"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?"

My reply…

Chip, I see a news world where news is covered faster than ever before, covered by people that are much more knowledgeable about what they are covering than ever before and covered at a much more granular level than ever before. You can see what is going to happen with general news by looking at what is happening now with tech and Internet industry news.

Online news sites covering Internet related technology and business have already succeeded in replacing traditional media and the AP. Bloggers and niche news sites like WebProNews are on the scene covering events as they happen. Tech print magazines like PC World Australia are dying because they are out of date by the time they reach news stands and seem irrelevant to the tech savvy … unless you are on an airplane!

The news that WebProNews, Techmeme, Techcrunch and thousands of online news sites and bloggers are covering only makes it into the AP hours and even days later… or never.

The AP cannot compete with the speed of online news sources and bloggers. They also can’t compete with the quality and insightfulness of the coverage because niche news sites and bloggers live and breath the industries they cover.

Other news areas are close behind tech like politics where major political stories are regularity broken by bloggers. Think Monica Lewinsky and Dan Rather to get the idea.

Niche news sites and bloggers with content exposed to millions via linking and news aggregation have changed the landscape of news and commentary. It’s not from the top down anymore with reporters telling the people what is news. The people are the reporters … in war zones, at fires, at conferences, interviewing newsmakers and discovering facts to break big stories.

News organizations with massive audiences are still needed but less so than before. Unfortunately for the AP, their job of covering news on the scene and then syndicating it to local newspapers for a fee has been replaced by blogs, online news sites and news aggregation.

Chip, for AP this new news world is already here and they cannot afford the price of adapting.