Wednesday, September 10, 2008

AP-less Star Ledger

Editor and Publisher's new blog reports the Newark Star Ledger published today without the use of any AP copy.

Is it a protest against AP's new rates, or practice for doing away with the wire service altogether as a cost saving move? The question by E&P hangs there -- Star Ledger editor Jim Wilse didn't return the trade publication's calls seeking comment.

As for AP, it issued the usual nonstatement statement that it's trying to work with everyone. (AP corp commer Paul Colford posted the statement over at Jeff Jarvis' BuzzMachine, bringing three pointed questions from another commenter. So far, no response from Colford.) But remember, AP VP Sue Cross said recently the wire service really wasn't keeping track of such things ...

Earlier this week, AP's exec. ed, Kathleen Carroll, tried to calm things at the AP Managing Editors conference in Las Vegas. I did like the line from the E&P story: Kathleen Carroll told a crowd of newspaper editors that cancellation notices from member newspapers are common but not usually public knowledge.

Yep. Welcome to the "new world of news."



At 9/10/08, 8:58 PM, Blogger Babbie said...

If the Post and Courier dropped AP stories, it would get pretty small!

At 9/10/08, 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of weeks ago, at a newsroom meeting (mostly called to announce no raises next year), I asked about dropping AP. The response from management was that it would be impossible -- no coverage of the presidential election, no coverage of the next 9-11, no coverage of the Iraq war, Russian's invasion of Georgia, what the stock market's doing, the Superbowl, etc. etc.

I replied that the basic facts are pretty much public domain, and that we could do much of that locally. Examples: The night of Barack Obama's convention speech, many local Democrats were gathered to watch it; we could have reported on that gathering, including what was said during the speech. In the case of another 9-11, we could similarly cover local relief efforts, blood drives, prayer services, etc., using what's common knowledge of the event as a backdrop. Likewise with the Iraq war, and so on.

Management seemed amused, asking how we were going to do all that when we're barely treading water now.

WITH THE NEW REPORTERS WE COULD HIRE with the money we're now sending to AP!!! By my estimate, it would be a 50 percent increase in reporting staff!!!

Besides which, I noted, everyone who cares already knew about Obama's speech, 9-11, who won the Superbowl, etc.

The idea was quickly dismissed; later in the meeting, the exec editor on three occasions (I counted) said the only unique thing we have to offer is local news!!!

At 9/10/08, 10:07 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...


And, as you know, online you easily could have linked to the text of and other reputable commentary on those speeches from your local story.


At 9/11/08, 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a crock about cancellations being "common" at AP. Minor add-on services get dropped with some frequency, but cancellation notices for the entire service are rare. Or at least they were under the previous regime, which actually cared about the newspapers who own them.


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