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Community Comment

MONDAY, OCT. 20, 2008, 5:23 A.M.

The Changing Relationship to AP…

Good morning, Netizens...

The majority of the readers of this Blog never notice it, but behind the scenes the Associated Press plays a role nearly every day in what gets shipped as news, most notably in pictures and video. According to my inbound spool of pictures, which includes every picture I have used since this Blog began, over 80% of the pictures have been attributed to the AP Wire. This is because the Spokesman-Review has a contract with AP to use its proprietary news stories, pictures and other multi-media resources.

According to Tribune perhaps may leave AP confirmed last Thursday that it has notified the Associated Press this week that the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and its other newspapers it might end their relationship with the news cooperative, effective in October 2010. Halfway down the column, it mentions that the Spokesman-Review also may terminate its agreement with AP by year's end, as well.

Last year, when the Associated Press announced a new rate structure which is supposed to kick in during 2009, a lot of newspapers of newspapers, most of whom were already facing steep cutbacks in their news rooms, howled in protest at the price hikes. We have already seen cutbacks in the newsroom at the Spokesman, and at present, according to Poynter Online The Spokesman-Review is negotiating to drop its AP relationship by year's end.

If that happens, what impact will that have on Community Comment or other SR Blogs?

Here's how I see things evolving:

We will have to develop more news content, perhaps from places like Rawstory or other alternative news sources, but they have to step up their accuracy.

In the face of reduced news room staff, we will have to develop sources of original content, local news stories that cannot or are not covered by any other sources.

We will need to find and use other multi-media news sources, particularly here in the Inland Northwest.

Do you have any other ideas?


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.