Bloggers are not the only people pissed off at Associated Press these days.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a growing cadre of newspaper editors are upset with the 162-year-old newsgathering cooperative.
Some newspapers have attempted to reduce their reliance on the AP. This past spring, prompted by unhappiness with the AP’s fees and reduced coverage of state and local news, the eight largest newspapers in Ohio created a cooperative called the Ohio News Organization, or OHNO, which allows its members to sidestep the AP by sharing stories. Five Montana newspapers owned by the newspaper concern Lee Enterprises Inc. have also begun sharing more content. And editors in Texas, Pennsylvania and Indiana have quietly inquired about how the Ohio cooperative works.
Ben Marrison, editor of the Columbus Dispatch, says a recent trial in Akron involving the theft of state money epitomizes members’ frustrations. Before the trial Mr. Marrison placed a call to the AP Ohio bureau to find out if it would be sending a reporter.
When he was told the AP wouldn’t have a reporter there, he sent one of his own to Akron. Shortly after the story was posted on the Dispatch’s Web site, an AP staffer rewrote it for a broader audience and put the new version on the state wire. “So it was important enough for them to move, but not important enough for them to cover,” Mr. Marrison said. “What has happened is we’ve become the wire service for the wire service.”