An alternative to Associated Press

Associate Press is planning to charge its local members — members who already pay high membership fees — to publish AP news on its Web sites.

I met a couple of AP execs this week and I spoke with one of them about this plan — where’s the ROI was my question, especially when Yahoo! is already consuming all of APs feeds? The first response was along the lines of the huge fees Yahoo! pays for its feeds and how that helps keep members’ costs down.  OK, but how does that help a local news site if Yahoo!’s position of the feeds (along with a host of other Web sites) totally devalues the content?

AP does very little to drive page views for local news sites, so what does AP think it’s providing that is worth paying for?

A pair of my bosses, Bob Benz and Mike Phillips, have floated an idea on OJR to create an open-source news cooperative. Commenters on the article have pointed out some potential pitfalls, but considering the alternative — paying AP for content that has no real value — a news co-op seems pretty attractive.

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