Is AP writing its own obit?

The Associated Press has announced that it will start charging news organizations for placing its content on their web sites in 2006.

The AP — a cooperative owned by its members — has softened the financial blow to its customers by promising that it will adjust its rates downward at the same time. This move, apparently, is to establish the principle that AP can lay on an extra charge for the use of its content in online venues.

Because AP has no peer in the newsgathering world — no organization comes close to the coverage that AP can provide — this is an important and farreaching move, but it has drawn relatively little comment so far. No one seems to know exactly what the implications are.

An exception is an Online Journalism Review article by Bob Benz and Mike Phillips of the Scripps corportation, who say AP is “planting the seeds of its own demise.” Benz and Phillips go on to propose an alternative to the way AP is viewing news and news distribution.

(Posted May 1, 2005)

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Jim Stovall, a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker and beekeeper -- among others things.

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