Distributing investigations

I’m delighted that the Associated Press is going to distribute the reporting of four nonprofit investigative news organizations: the Center for Public Integrity, the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and ProPublica. That will get their work seen in many more print outlets. Print.

Except — and I hate to have another exception with the AP — online that isn’t necessarily the best service to the work. In a search-driven ecology, the better thing to do is to send all traffic to the reporting at its source so that can rise in search. It also means that as stories are updated, readers can get the latest. And it gives these centers the opportunity to raise money with readers who care about their work. So I hope that the papers that print these stories online also link to the source.

  • http://www.digidave.org David Cohn

    I too thought this was a good move.

    ProPublica, the Huff Post unit and CIR all give their content away. Why wouldn’t the AP, the largest distributor to newspapers around the country, by a syndicate partner. In fact, it is silly to me that the AP hasn’t been doing this for years with CIR (a 30-year old organization).

    As always – there is no single thing that will save journalism/newspapers. It will be many things.

    One of those many things will be the nonprofit mafia (I’m guilty of starting to run with the pack and hope to soon work with CIR and other orgs… so maybe Spot.Us content will be in AP as well) and key to their success will be their ability to give their content away.

    Oddly enough – it can be hard to give content away for free.

    Rock on – sorry for the rant. One of those mornings you feel like commenting.

  • http://wyman.us/ Bob Wyman

    It is a real pity that AP is going to distribute this content. What that means is that the producers will have no chance of ever earning any revenue from its distribution. AP is a cost avoidance tool for publishers, not a revenue source. AP revenues are all consumed by the AP itself. So, these publishers may get exposure, but they will be forced to grovel and beg for funding in order to keep writing.

    Now, AP subscribers will monetize the content of these non-profits via subscriptions and advertising but how much of that revenue will flow back to the people who created the content?

    bob wyman

  • http://www.ap.org Paul Colford

    Full text of AP’s announcement is here:


    Paul Colford
    Associated Press

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  • zywotkowitz

    the Center for Public Integrity, the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and ProPublica.

    Look at the websites of those groups .. they’re about as diverse as an NPR fundraiser. “conflicts of interest among Bush appointees” but not a word a little bit critical of “the One”. .. Unless you count a report on a school that the “stimulus” isn’t helping.

    Contessa Brewer’s MSNBC bit about Letterman/Palin is the new news paradigm. “Tell me what possibly could it be that hurt Palin’s feelings. We can’t possibly fathom it because we studiously avoided disclosing the relevant information”.