Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Economy, Internet Affect AP's News Role

Posted by Amanda Walsh

According to an article by Frank Washkuch found on PRweek.com, tough financial times in the United States have resulted in The Associated Press playing a smaller role in local newspapers. The Associated Press (AP) "is a nonprofit collaborative, owned and operated by its approximately 1,500-member news organizations." The AP subscription is often a large part of a newspaper’s budget and has been vulnerable to cuts despite a recent rate discount in July of this year.

With decreasing advertising revenues and the rise of Internet usage for national and international news, many newspapers are deciding to cut AP subscriptions. "We're going to be much more local…and with the economics, we're going to have to focus on what we do best," says Rufus Woods, editor and publisher of the Washington-based Wenatchee World. Despite the savings with the subscription cancellation, newspapers will have a hard time finding a comprehensive service for state, national and international news according to Lou Ureneck, chairman of Boston University's journalism department.

Public relations experts will need to target specific publications with tailored, relevant news, keeping in mind that the distribution of important news will be taking different avenues without the active role of the AP in local newspapers.

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