Bleeding Edge

by Dennis Yang

Creating A Napster For The News

from the i-think-they're-finally-getting-it dept

With bloggers getting press passes, citizen journalists creating ambitious open source news networks, and Wikimedia trying their hand at news, newspapers are running scared. Instead of trying to squeeze money from these flailing members, Scripps general manager and editorial director propose that the Associated Press reinvent itself as a digital co-op, a sort of "Napster" for news. Recognizing that the Associated Press was formed to provide a cost-effective method for news agencies to cover non-local news stories in the telegraph era, a modern peer-to-peer network would allow its members to efficiently share their news bureaus while leveraging Internet infrastructure to achieve an even greater cost savings. By applying principles such as "karmic balance" to moderate sharing, members would be charged less based on the number of stories they contributed to the network (which actually makes the news service more like BitTorrent than Napster). While these ideas do need some work before they become reality, it's great to finally see some experienced newshounds begin to embrace the advantages afforded by the online medium -- considering their late arrival to the party, it's about time. Hopefully someone at the AP is paying attention.

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