Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What if the AP had cut off Google News at the pass?

My extensive notes from the epiphanic third day of the Poynter seminar are on the way, honest. (I spent the weekend joyously buried in Django, if you must know.) Meanwhile, here's a neat think piece from Forbes's Paul Maidment, who's out for some counterfactual fun:

There were attempts by newspapers as long ago as the early 1990s to pool news services and classifieds online in the face of a common enemy. But they were felled for the most part by old rivalries and narrow minds. CareerBuilder.com ... being a notable exception.

What was missing then was audacious imagination. The U.S. industry already had a national news co-op, the Associated Press. Could it have held the space now occupied by Google News and Yahoo! News and done the job better as it both creates and aggregates news? As well as the stories written by its staff, one-fifth to one-quarter of the stores carried on the AP wire come from its owner newspapers but remains within the gated community of its members.

There was no call to throw open the gates.


(Tx Jon Dube.)

I assume we can all balk a bit at the idea of letting the nation's nonprofit news collective mutate into an online megaportal. (Though something similar isn't such a far-off dream, I'd add.)

2 comments:

Endo Last said...

I assume we can all balk a bit at the idea of letting the nation's nonprofit news collective mutate into an online megaportal.

Why? The AP is a portal, but just a closed one for its owners, newspaper companies.

Michael said...

Well, it's only sort of closed today. It's certainly happy to sell our stuff to potential competitors like Newsvine and Topix.

But this article is suggesting that AP could have become a portal for the public, too. My balking comes from the fear that this would dramatically shift power from the association's "owners" to the association, which would suddenly control the eyes of the future. It'd be a big shift, that's all.

 

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