The Two Faces of the AP

We hate bloggers, we love bloggers, hate ’em, love ’em, hate ’em… need them.

Of course there is great irony in this excerpt of a speech Michael Oreskes gave recently but if you read the full text you will see something more subtle at play within the AP, which is a realization that the business as they understand it is ending and they don’t have a clear v2.0 to carry them forward. The AP doesn’t want to be an aggregator of blog content, they simply want to be an aggregator of sentiment and use that as the basis for new data services for publishers that are metadata driven instead of journalism driven.

So we have a responsibility to complete the job that is already underway…to reinvent the media business to assure that it can continue to sustain the quality journalism that is so vital. To do that, we must listen to the market. We must listen to the social networking entrepreneurs who are tapping the Internet’s power of community. And to the bloggers who have revived that fine old art of pamphleteering in a powerful new way by combining it with the Internet’s power of aggregation. We must hear them and understand the message of change…but then we must combine that message with what we know inside ourselves to be the value of what we know how to do as journalists. And from that synthesis of tradition and change there will come a new future for journalism. That future is your future

[From Scholarship Lunceon – Overseas Press Club Foundation]

Sounds great but they aren’t alone in this aspiration and given that one of their core markets is literally going bankrupt by the day, it’s an uphill run when combined with culture issues that will resist any bold changes at the AP until it’s too late. The AP will follow the newspaper industry in this regard and eventually their broadcaster business that is built around video will come under assault as well.