jump to navigation

Is AP’s crackdown on bloggers actually a crackdown against defections of its own members? 6/16/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in AP.
trackback

The blogosphere is in full boil about one of its own being warned by the AP that it must even more sharply limit the number of AP-written words it uses in its citations of AP articles. One of the biggest blogs, TechCrunch, is even calling for a boycott of AP story citations.

But, while the bloggers understandably think it’s all about them, I have a hunch it isn’t. Rather, it is a shot across the bow of AP’s own members that they had better not drop their costly memberships in favor of citing AP articles instead.

Increasingly, AP newspapers are realizing that the Internet has turned their membership into a rotten deal. The not-for-profit AP takes their money and their stories, uses their money to pay for its own staff to write additional stories, then shares everything with all other members, so that the papers are left with no exclusive content on the big stories of the day. This wasn’t a problem before the Internet, when readers could only access these stories from their local papers.

So a newspaper trying to cut its costs could theoretically drop its AP membership, keep its exclusive content to itself, and start each big story “According to the AP,” lifting as many words as possible then paraphrasing the rest. By cracking down now to limit the number of lifted words, the AP is making the price for defecting members higher. Whether this is a crackpot theory or not, one thing is clear — now that the old model for the relationship between the AP and its members might be hurting members more than helping them, a crackup seems inevitable. (H/T: Jim Harper)

Comments»

1. Walter Abbott - 6/17/08

Indeed. There is no reason, economic or otherwise, for the AP to even exist anymore. Technology – the telegraph – allowed its creation and technology – the internet – is heralding its destruction.

2. Sinomania! - 6/17/08

Increasingly AP news stories are becoming less credible and interesting. On China news coverage for expample, AP reporters are often just tools of “anonymous” officials and industry or policy “experts” that use the AP to give an air of authority to their propaganda and spread outright lies.

3. Hypocrisy works fine for the Associated Press, but its not a business model | Prodigeek - 6/18/08

[…] Steve Boriss writes how the A.P.’s stance against linking is a sideways attack to prevent newspapers from just summarizing and linking to A.P. stories instead of paying for them. Newspaper trying to cut its costs could theoretically drop its AP membership, keep its exclusive content to itself, and start each big story “According to the AP,” lifting as many words as possible then paraphrasing the rest. By cracking down now to limit the number of lifted words, the AP is making the price for defecting members higher. […]

4. Hey AP! How About Running A Real News Web Site? - 7/9/09

[…] things are changing. Maybe you’re afraid that your members will abandon you (see here, here, here and here and especially here). But maybe you can offer them something new, especially in […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: