Several American Newspapers Dropping AP

Couldn’t happen to a better ‘news’ outlet.

……Long a newspaper-centric organization, the AP (Asssociated Press) has shifted its focus in recent years. With readers and advertisers migrating away from news on printed paper and toward cable TV and the Web, the AP is devoting more of its resources to producing content for other news outlets. These include the very Web portals that pose the greatest competition for newspapers, such as Yahoo and Google, which are now among the AP’s biggest customers.

……Some newspapers have attempted to reduce their reliance on the AP. This past spring, prompted by unhappiness with the AP’s fees and reduced coverage of state and local news, the eight largest newspapers in Ohio created a cooperative called the Ohio News Organization, or OHNO, which allows its members to sidestep the AP by sharing stories. Five Montana newspapers owned by the newspaper concern Lee Enterprises Inc. have also begun sharing more content. And editors in Texas, Pennsylvania and Indiana have quietly inquired about how the Ohio cooperative works.

In some cases, newspaper editors are going up against their owners, many of whom are represented on AP’s board and support the organization’s initiatives. “There is a chill in the air that this is something that we can’t engage our corporate owners on because they’re conflicted,” an editor says.

……Ohio is ground zero for the widening rift between the AP and its member newspapers. Ben Marrison, editor of the Columbus Dispatch, says a recent trial in Akron involving the theft of state money epitomizes members’ frustrations. Before the trial Mr. Marrison placed a call to the AP Ohio bureau to find out if it would be sending a reporter.
……When he was told the AP wouldn’t have a reporter there, he sent one of his own to Akron. Shortly after the story was posted on the Dispatch’s Web site, an AP staffer rewrote it for a broader audience and put the new version on the state wire. “So it was important enough for them to move, but not important enough for them to cover,” Mr. Marrison said. “What has happened is we’ve become the wire service for the wire service.”

Link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121444598979205887.html?mod=djemITP

For them, the bottom line is cost and lack of local coverage. Too bad it isn’t because of AP’s blatant leftwing slant. The staff writers have a tendency to editorialize their liberal opinions into everything they write. Most of the ‘news articles’ at the AP may as well be OpEds.

Case in point:

http://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2008/07/29/the-ap-admits-iraq-is-won-but-with-the-standard-omissions-bias/

http://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2008/07/17/aps-biased-reportingagain/

http://sfcmac.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/ap-reporter-who-embedded-with-terrorists-given-amnesty/

As the old established MSM is finding out, the internet provides a vast resource for research and counter-points to what they present as ‘news’. It has enabled those of us frustrated by years of media monopolies, to become media savvy and fill in the blanks left by the editors’ bias.

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