Magazine article Editor & Publisher

AP Hits Back at Critical Baltimore 'Sun' Column

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

AP Hits Back at Critical Baltimore 'Sun' Column

Article excerpt

In a Sunday business column in The Sun of Baltimore, Jay Hancock asked, "Why do newspapers pay the Associated Press to distribute their expensive, hard-won stories to radio, TV, Yahoo and other enemies of newspapers? Newspapers run AP as a collective, but the interests of AP and its members have never been further apart. The No. 1 problem for all media is promiscuous content distribution with low or no compensation.

"AP makes this worse, striking its own deals and enabling newspapers in their role as content floozies. Papers must regain control of their stories, hoard them under their banners and Web sites and stitch them to their subscribers and advertisers. If you want Yahoo viewers to read your stories, deal with Yahoo directly, as McClatchy newspapers agreed to last week. Quit AP or revamp it."

It was just one small section in a much longer piece, but it obviously got the AP's attention. Jack Stokes from Corporate Communications has penned the following letter to The Sun.*

I bring your attention to an inaccuracy -- and a continuingmisperception -- about The Associated Press and commercial Web sites and aggregators, contained in the recent April 8 Baltimore Sun column by Jay Hancock. The column leaves the erroneous impression that much of the content AP sells to commercial Web sites comes from member newspapers.

In fact, a very small fraction of this content -- less than 4 percent --is contributed from AP-member newspapers. The overwhelming majority of content sold to commercial, nonmember Web sites is original content produced by AP staff. …

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