Associated Press recognise bloggers as a news source

In a letter to its members last week, Associated Press made the announcement that bloggers should be cited as a news source. This is a significant move from the AP, given that they have a history of not exactly ‘getting on’ with bloggers. Given that such a large news organisation has made a point of recognising bloggers as a viable news source, which they should have done a long time ago, it has much wider implications on how bloggers affect the news agenda and overall news industry. We’ve already seen some developments in this area, such as publishers employing bloggers on the ground, but I think this goes one further than that.

The announcement has served to recognise the work that bloggers put into breaking and reporting stories. But interestingly they make a point of saying that they must credit information where it occured from a website, so you would hope that this would cover Twitter as well, given that so many stories break on here. The details aren’t clear on quite what this attribution would look like (is it the website or the individual that’s credited?) but this is definitely a positive and exciting move.


Author of Associated Press recognise bloggers as a news source

by Lauren Fisher

01641514 photo ap associated press logo Associated Press recognise bloggers as a news sourceIn a letter to its members last week, Associated Press made the announcement that bloggers should be cited as a news source. This is a significant move from the AP, given that they have a history of not exactly ‘getting on’ with bloggers. Given that such a large news organisation has made a point of recognising bloggers as a viable news source, which they should have done a long time ago, it has much wider implications on how bloggers affect the news agenda and overall news industry. We’ve already seen some developments in this area, such as publishers employing bloggers on the ground, but I think this goes one further than that.

The announcement has served to recognise the work that bloggers put into breaking and reporting stories. But interestingly they make a point of saying that they must credit information where it occured from a website, so you would hope that this would cover Twitter as well, given that so many stories break on here. The details aren’t clear on quite what this attribution would look like (is it the website or the individual that’s credited?) but this is definitely a positive and exciting move.

3137862 9f18e67024 Associated Press recognise bloggers as a news sourceImportantly this has implications for the individual blogger opposed to blogs overall. Even though the AP states that attribution to a blogger or other source doesn’t have to occur at the start of a story, it still means valuable visibility for bloggers in front of a wide audience. If you’re a blogger that breaks news then this has huge implications on how high up the news chain you could get. Instead of just having to go out and find stories yourself, if you get in front of the right people, it could  mean that bloggers are approached with the right information and maybe even given exclusives ahead of traditional publications. This may be looking a bit too far into the future, but the possibility for this can certainly be seen now.

Are AP slow off the mark?

I don’t want to risk downplaying the significance of the move from AP, but you could very well argue that they’re actually a bit late to the game with their most recent change. In ‘The Source Cycle‘, an analysis of articles from the New York Times & Washington Post over 6 years finds that blogs are increasingly referenced as a credible news source. And this was carried out in 2008. It’s when you look at it in this context that you realise just how much work is still to be done when it comes to recognising bloggers and importantly growing the area overall. AP is a huge news agency yet only now are they making this change.

As exciting as this announcement is, we must question who is looking after the blogger’s rights and how can they make a living from their blog? It’s one thing to attribute them as a news source, but you would hope that this change from AP may well affect the blogosphere overall and we may start to see more bloggers employed by news organisations who recognise the collective power of bloggers in regional areas. This is where bloggers’ ability to influence and set the news agenda really starts coming in to play and can change the traditional news industry.

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