A couple weeks before the latest brouhaha surrounding the Associated Press broke over the Internet, a group of web innovators and citizens were discussing the viability of the AP model at the Poynter Sense-Making conference in March.
Below, Greg Elin of the Sunlight Foundation reacts to a presentation by the AP’s vice president and director of strategy Jim Kennedy on a “new model for news consumption,” given via teleconference to the room.
The issue is two-fold. First, as Jeff Jarvis points out, the AP’s very business model is antithetical to how the Internet works:
Journalists doing original reporting everywhere should resent the AP for turning all the knowledge they create into commodity news — and selling it with no benefit to them in the form of payment, credit, or links. The AP is built for the content economy and is incapable of shifting to support its members or compete in the link economy.
The AP syndication model works in an economy of information scarcity, whereas the web represents an economy of abundance.
Second, what the AP has failed to grasp is that the evolution of the participatory web has blurred the line between content producers, distributors and consumers to the point where everybody can be any and all of the three. The news wire of the future will not be centralized and top-down, but rather distributed and bottom-up.