Bloggers and the Associated Press: the Past and the Future - Stage Three: An Angry Stalemate
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In this period bloggers fired off post after post about the biases of major news networks, exposing hidden biases to the public. On the other side, the Associated Press looked down on blogs, treating them like amateurs.
This would have gone on for quite a while if it were not for money. Yes, that is right: money.
Stage Four: Blog+Ads+Readers=Profit
Blogs began to go mainstream as a source of news for the public. They also began to monetize their sites. This allowed news companies to see the dollar value in a blog. They also began to notice a steep drop in viewers or readers as an increasing number of people turned to the net for their news.
This combination made news organizations think about starting their own news blogs. Since most of them were not hiring on new bloggers to try out this theory, they used existing content from their staff.
This put the Associated Press and its members into a bind. As their content was now going onto blogs, usually daily, it became silly to keep on trashing blogs as a medium. After all, that would mean poking at their own work. Suddenly, with members blogging and being paid to do it, there had to be a reversal of policy -- or at least a twisting of it.
Stage Five: Journalists Blogging or Blogger Journalists
This is essentially the Associated Press's current position. An established journalist can blog, and that is journalism. But a blogger who writes news isn't a journalist. If you want a source on that, take a look at this section of the Associated Press's membership website.
"How can I become a member of The Associated Press and receive AP services?
If you are a newspaper, radio or television station, you can become a member of the AP cooperative. Newspapers may contact your local bureau or the Newspapers Services at 212-621-1700. Broadcasters may call your local bureau or the AP Broadcast at 202-736-1100."
Notice that websites or web-based media companies are not on that list. Not that many of them would want to join, given the hefty membership fees that are associated with membership. One paper that left the Associated Press stated that they were paying $48,000 a year to belong to the group. Of course, that has not stopped the Associated Press from trying to protect their content, even from fair use.
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