Wednesday, September 14, 2005

AP's asap = as superficial as possible

The Associate Press is launching a "younger audience service" to targeted at readers between 18 and 34 years old, according to this NY Times piece (registration required.)

The service is called asap, which is supposed to stand for 'as soon as possible.' But as far as I can tell, asap is really the AP news wire recycled and embellished with redundant multimedia bells and whistles.

This quote from 37-year-old asap director Ted Anthony pretty much sums it up for me:

"We're pushing the envelope in terms of some of the things The A.P. has done, but we're maintaining A.P. values, not being biased, getting our facts right, being fair, giving people their say," he added. "But the fact is, some of what resonates the most with this audience is not necessarily traditional journalism, and so it will be a hybrid."

So it will be the same, but it will be different. Gotcha.

Tangentially, the NY Times article about the new service illustrates the NY Times' attitude about the current media climate:

A prototype also included a photo essay on vendors of street food in cities around the world, a piece that highlights The A.P.'s global reach. While bloggers often write about domestic events, rarely do they venture out to report firsthand on the outside world. The A.P.'s ability to do this could underscore for readers the strength of traditional news organizations that can afford to base reporters around the world. (Emphasis added)

Did I miss the attribution in that sentence? Is this the AP's opinion or the Times'?

Besides that, I guess the Times isn't aware of the worldwide network of bloggers who have been exposing themselves to arrest and attack to report on what's going on around the world. Maybe they should do some reporting themselves.