The Associated Press, otherwise known as AP, have a hate – hate relationship with anything to do with the Internet but with bloggers in particular. It’s not just that the AP is the sole provider of about 95% of the non-local ‘news’ that shows up in newspapers and magazine but now it wants to same kind of control over the Internet.
In a memo that was leaked – to a blog no less – AP senior managing editor Michael Oreskes wrote to the AP troops that all this silly “reporting” thing was all well in good but they also needed to get ahead of the ever-quickening news cycle. Even though he doesn’t come right out an say that nasty word “blogger” his intent is pretty clear.
Jim Romenesko has the full text of the memo but here’s the “next cycle” part and the jab at those unmentionable bloggers.
Let’s start with something that’s obvious but worth laying out plainly: That “next cycle” we speak of so often in The Associated Press is now. Not 12 hours from the first breaking news, not even six hours, but one, maybe two hours from it – and maybe even faster than that.
This is hardly something that we’re just waking up to. But it is accelerating by the week. As we look around the media landscape in recent months, over and over we’re seeing the same thing. AP wins when news breaks, but after an hour or two we’re often replaced by a piece of content from someone else who has executed something more thoughtful or more innovative. Often it’s someone who has taken what we do (sometimes our reporting itself) and pushed it to the next level of content: journalism that’s more analytical, maybe a fresh and immediate entry point, a move away from text, a multimedia mashup or a different story form that speaks more directly to users.
Given all the crap that the AP has pulled in the past when it comes to things like trying to charge for quotes I don’t think that there are that many people too concerned with the future of the AP.