AP? What AP?

Newspapers manage to live without it:

Q: What AP services are you missing the most?

Prutsok: I just spoke with our news editor about
this and there’s really nothing. It was easy, he said, when there was a
three-inch hole to fill to go to AP and flow it in. It’s not much more
difficult with what we have now, just a change in habits.

Q: What’s been the reaction from your readers so far?

Prutsok: No reaction. It’s a bigger deal to us than
it is to them. Our readers couldn’t care less if we carry the same news
that they can get off the evening news.

Every paper carrying the same national/international content made a lot of sense when your local paper was the only source of national news via a wire service, but nationally televised news broadcasts began reducing our dependence on wire services long before the dreaded, evil Internet. That’s not to belittle for one moment the work being done by the AP, but if your paper won’t miss it, why run the same cookie-cutter content? For a local-local, it makes little sense to shoulder the cost.

A.

4 thoughts on “AP? What AP?

  1. Here’s what I don’t get. I live in Baltimore, where the once-fine Sun has been destroyed in a pathetic attempt to convert it into USA Today, from what it seems. And yet you have all these Tribune papers who could be sharing stories, and which presumably would have different slants from the standard national services.
    Definitely agree that no one needs to read the same pap that’s available everywhere, but pooling across cities would be worthwhile. Instead, my paper has been dumbed down to try to make it appeal to younger demos that aren’t going to get the paper in any case, and has thus jettisoned its older (and real) audience in droves.
    Why they don’t get that people who want to read a paper actually want to read a paper is a real mystery.

  2. It might help the wire services if they carried better content more frequently than they do:
    When a relative of mine made national news back in January, the Canadian Press service picked up the worst-written article of the bunch — the yellow-journalism crap from theToronto Sun, of all places. (For those of you not in the know, theSun is kind of like theNational Enquirer of Canada, with less actual news, more girls in bikinis, and bigger delusions of real newspaperhood.)
    That was especially galling, since theNational Post (of all places) had an excellent article.

  3. You know what I miss both in national wirefeed news and in the local newspaper and TV?
    I miss a journalist that asks the follow-up question. The journalist that doesn’t take a non-answer (or even inaccurate answer) and mindlessly pass it along.
    What happened to analysis vs. the tape recorder?

  4. The AP staff coverage is pretty much crap, but sometimes the stuff from AP member papers is pretty good (although less so for the obvious reasons). One thing you could do fairly easily using the intertubes would be to put up a much less centralized clearinghouse of local and national stories, with papers free to pick and choose which other papers’ stuff they wanted, rather than just the AP feed. A nationwide local feed could also be an incredibly useful research tool for reporters doing stories on the local version of widespread issues (and once again, without just picking up the centralized pap).

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