If The AP Is About Clear And Concise Reporting... Why Can't It Explain Its New Plan?
from the it-needs-an-editor dept
This seems especially ironic when you realize that the AP is supposedly in the business of explaining complex news events to the world. John Temple, a former newspaper editor, is pointing out, amusingly, that the AP really should have found an editor to go over its plan before it released it -- because that editor would have hopefully done a better job forcing the AP to explain itself:
So why do I say AP's planners needs an editor? Because editors make writing clear and understandable. And this "plan" is neither.Of course, one might argue that the reason the document is so unclear is because the Associated Press itself doesn't understand it.
When reporters write news stories about the challenges an industry faces, it's important that they be clear -- and, of course, accurate -- about what the problems are and what steps are proposed to address them. The reporters' job is to help readers understand the problems and evaluate possible solutions. It's also important that reporters be clear about the potential industry or company conflicts that stand in the way of or complicate possible solutions.
The first paragraph of the AP document makes a bald assertion without the facts to back it up that a good editor would require of any reporter. It talks of news content being monetized without fair compensation and "rampant" unauthorized use of AP content on literally tens of thousands of Web sites. It says the problem is quickly spreading. The document goes on in this vein and seems to mix and muddle two concerns: unauthorized use -- the blatant stealing of entire stories or photographs -- and the use of headlines and snippets by search engines and others. It never makes clear how big the first problem is. Is there really that much revenue being stolen from the owners of content as a result of bloggers and others cutting and pasting AP stories? I don't know the answer from reading this document.