On Newspapers Canceling AP

Earlier, I saw the AP having trouble if a group of Ohio papers didn't use it. Now, Jay Rosen points us to to a Wired pickup that links to this story from the MinnPost about Minneapolis Star Tribune sending the AP the requisite two-year notice that it intends to cancel. This after five other papers did so. Now, this doesn't mean that the Strib will necessarily drop AP. Sending notice ahead of a deadline is a common tactic. In fact, some lawyers routinely send out cancellation notices as a matter of course, to they can cancel in the event they do actually wish to cancel. And, Rosen also notes, The Spokesman Review is challenging the two-year cancellation notice requirement.

Nevertheless, it has for decades been a "given" that a U.S. newspaper would take the AP as a core component or important supplement of its news coverage. The MinnPost writer, David Brauer, talks of the damage to the area's news gathering if the AP loses the Star Tribune's participation (and fees). But he also notes that papers could use that money to pay for more of their own reporting:

If AP gets less cash and copy from the Strib and cuts its local presence, Minnesota’s news ecosystem could take a big hit. The wire service’s copy fleshes out local papers big and small; a diminished AP weakens a key line of defense for cash-strapped newsrooms.

Then again, non-metro editors around the nation were among the first to give AP notice; most said they’d rather save the coin for their own staffers (even as their publishers were thinking cash flow)

A Newsweek editor once quipped in an editorial meeting that "if we have two examples, it's a trend, three, a cover story." Well, now we have at least a half-dozen.

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