2010 is bringing more news and information-sharing services that represent a threat to the Associated Press. Most recently, a social network for journalists, Publish2, launched a new online news exchange.
The Publish2 News Exchange represents an open challenge to the AP. The service allows publishers to create customized content-sharing networks of varying size, whose members agree to syndicate Web content for each other's use.
At launch, the Publish2 News Exchange includes newswires created by TechCrunch, Engadget, Politics Daily, Daily Finance, AOL Small Business and the Huffington Post Investigative Fund.
In a blog post on the site, CEO Scott Karp was clear about the purpose of the new service, calling it "a platform aimed at disrupting the Associated Press monopoly over content distribution to newspapers," which he described as an "obsolete cooperative."
Among other features, the Web site invites publishers to "create your own news wires and route them directly to the print editions of newspapers across the state and around the world."
The News Exchange expedites the process by handling the logistics of file transfers, graphics and tailored story formatting. It can also automatically import syndicated digital content to the print editions of newspapers.
As noted, the network is scalable, meaning that publishers can create networks with as many members as they like -- from hyperlocal content clubs with just a few members to consortia that are national in scale.
Karp noted that the exchange supports "the standard formats used by the AP and the technologies that newspapers already use to move content between print and Web systems." Since the networks are publisher-controlled, they can do away with AP's extra fees for things like sharing content across state lines.
Also, a dozen newspapers in Georgia are teaming up for coverage of political campaigns. The state's leading newspapers are forming an ad hoc consortium, called the Georgia Newspaper Partnership, to share polling information -- a strategy intended to help lessen the cost burden of statewide polls conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The newspapers will also be sharing political coverage, publishing stories under the bylines of journalists from other newspapers. The members of the consortium include the Journal-Constitution, Athens Banner Herald, Augusta Chronicle and Savannah Morning News.
This is the latest in a series of news-sharing partnerships created by newspapers and other news publishers separate from the AP. In December 2008, The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun struck a deal to share articles and photos beginning in January, while McClatchy Co. said it would share foreign news stories with The Christian Science Monitor.
In February 2009, five big regional daily newspapers in New York and New Jersey, including The New York Daily News, formed a content-sharing club, the Northeast Consortium, which allows them to borrow stories, photos, and graphics from each other.
In August 2009, at least 49 daily newspapers joined a national consortium that will allow them to share sports content, in a move to expand the array of sports coverage available to each newspaper while reducing costs. The sports content-sharing site is modeled on an earlier news-sharing alliance, the Ohio News Organization, created by the Plain Dealer and other Ohio papers in 2008.