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Bloggers and the Associated Press: the Past and the Future
By: Katie Gatto
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    2010-01-20

    Table of Contents:
  • Bloggers and the Associated Press: the Past and the Future
  • Stage Two: Simmering Contempt
  • Stage Three: An Angry Stalemate
  • Bring in the Lawyers

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    Bloggers and the Associated Press: the Past and the Future - Stage Two: Simmering Contempt


    (Page 2 of 4 )

    People on both sides of the fence were beginning to dislike each other. The Associated Press made it clear that they did not consider bloggers to be real journalists. They made the argument that bloggers could not be considered professional journalists for the following reasons:

    1. Anyone could be a blogger without any prerequisite education or experience.

    2. Many bloggers work without the benefits of a professional editor or review.

    3. Bloggers could post without any concern for the rules of spelling, grammar or punctuation.

    4. Bloggers could post without checking their facts or citing a source, basically presenting editorial content as fact.

    Of course, bloggers had their beefs with the Associated Press as well:

    1. That they were a group of elitist snobs that were only going after bloggers for fear of losing readership and money.

    2. That blogs can be great even when run by a blogger with no professional journalism or training.

    3. While claims about presenting editorial content as fact were a concern, this was, in fact, a practice that print and television journalists were also guilty of.

    4. Not all of the Associated Press rules and best practices made sense in a digital context. After all, you don't need to summarize a document or person in an article when you can simply link to them.

    5. Many major news outlets are sponsored by large corporations. This became a clear conflict of interest when covering (or not covering) a story was influenced by its impact on advertising revenue. Blogs, with no big bloated budgets that needed corporate handouts to survive, could cover a story that major outlets would bury.

    Sadly, both sides made some very valid points. When anyone can be taken as an authority, standards and quality do become an issue. When news outlets are consolidated and sponsored by corporate handouts, an unnatural bias is created -- one that can be extremely hard for the average reader to detect. Since neither side was completely wrong, or completely right, there was a long period that we will call an "angry stalemate."

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