I saw the news story in the New York Times and immediately felt guilty for having even mentioned the new AP report A New Model for News. I was talking about it in the context of user experience translating into circulation online. I believe I quoted more than a few words from the report - not again will I quote, maybe I will go as far as not reading for fear that my visual memory may betray me.
These are interesting times for main stream media. They are trying to figure out where they fit and how to make money. Print publications used to have nice margins, now the margins are thinner - and so are they. All thanks to the rise of citizen bloggers as well that of "free." As in classified ads, content, news, and everything in between. I thought their report was a step firmly in the right direction, that of figuring out who reads news and how we read it.
We know that execution is much harder than research. I do wonder if the recent move was a wise one. I've been following the events between AP and the Drudge report. Staci Kramer of paidContent.org covers how the story progressed at WashingtonPost.com. The Media Bloggers Association provides the time line and a few quotes about the incident. We talked about a new career for journalists writing for PaidContent, too.
As citizen journalism increases, so the responsibility for the stories we circulate grows and spreads. Bloggers now are not only assisted by an association, if they so choose, they can also get educated on the pitfalls to watch for - they are becoming more professional. Angelo Fernando at Hoi Polloi talks about a constant professional motion blur between journalists and bloggers. What is the difference between opinion and news?
My reaction to the AP news was surprise and alarm. Matthew Grant at Aquent puts it more decisively - give it away, give it away, give it away now, he writes. Considering that main stream media is now using social media tools to research their stories, check in with readers, and even promote what they publish, this case seems to be an attempt to go back in time.
Can the genie be put back in the bottle? What do you think? Will this case influence your quoting habits? Do you ever quote main stream media in your posts?