by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jul 27th 2009 8:57pm
The original purpose of the Associated Press was to pool together resources of various newspapers in order to be able to cover and share reporting on different events around the world. Otherwise, it simply wasn't practical for every local newspaper to have a Washington DC bureau or a London bureau or a Moscow bureau or whatever other location needed news reporting. And then, the idea was that by collectively teaming up, each of the local newspapers could reprint the works from others (and from the AP's own reporters) and have a complete newspaper on their own. But does that even make any sense in an internet era? The NewsFuturist blog notes that the internet has basically done away with the two key reasons that explain the AP's very existence, which probably explains why they're trying out questionable ideas designed to hold back the power of the internet, rather than embracing it. Could there be a place for a modern Associated Press? Absolutely. But its core purpose needs to be entirely different from what it's been for most of the AP's history. Each newspaper doesn't need to copy the same report from the White House briefing room. Everyone can just link to different reports (including more than just one to give multiple perspectives). The whole reason for the AP's very charter makes little sense these days, and it's time for the AP to come to terms with that, and adapt... or go away.
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