Tuesday, November 03, 2009

That was the week that was - without AP

You can be sure the wire service will be watching closely, and maybe nervously, next week as Tribune papers do without as much AP content as possible.

As Phil Rosenthal, the Chicago Tribune's media watcher put it on his blog:

Some newspapers have determined that shared wire content that is available to readers from many other outlets is worth less to them than unique, proprietary content, especially online. Coupled with reductions in the space allocated for news in print, papers are weighing whether there’s the same need for Associated Press content as in the past.
Or to put it another way, once AP sells it to Google, why does anyone else need to buy it?

This just goes to highlight the tough spot AP really finds itself in. Don't forget, it was not that long ago, in August, that I was quoting Cleveland Plain Dealer Editor Susan Goldberg on her view of what the wire service should do. Unique content was not part of her vision:

Goldberg, asked if the Plain Dealer and similar papers might go without AP someday, said "it's possible." There's a basic disconnect, she said: "I want them to cover the really boring meeting at the Statehouse so my people don't have to." But, she said, AP wants to do bigger projects and enterprise "that I have neither the desire nor the room to publish."
I think we'll all be interested to see what conclusions Tribune reaches.

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