Wednesday, January 30, 2008

AP scoops the big boys

The websites of the New York Times and Washington Post were the last among the major national media today to report that John Edwards is dropping out of the presidential race.

It took the NYT seven minutes to top its site with the Associated Press scoop that cleared the wires at 9.08 a.m. Eastern time. The Washington Post got the story on its site a moment earlier.

Before the Edwards story appeared at the sites of the two pre-eminent national newspapers whose reputations rest largely on their mastery of political news, you could see the AP story at such places as Drudge Report, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times.

At a time when editors at places like the LA Times are struggling to preserve the resources to cover such things as the presidential campaign, it is ironic that one of the biggest scoops of the political season came not from the ranks of the elite but from Nedra Pickler of AP, whose work is widely and economically available in real time to even the smallest newspaper, website or broadcast outlet.

Editors who wonder why the suits look askance at their budgets may want to ponder this.

4 Comments:

Blogger John C Abell said...

Maybe not so strange, or even telling. AP (and Reuters, where I cut my teeth) have probably mastered the pipeline better than any retail news organization.

The more interesting stat would be how long each organization took to get the story online. If the answer is as I suspect then that does suggest lack of investment, in this instance tech infrastructure -- and not slovenly news people -- is a factor.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But what does it really mean, or matter, that the NYT was SEVEN minutes behind on this story? Are the users of its Web site less likely to drop by now for the NYT's brand of reporting and analysis? Is being "first" by seven minutes all that important?

I don't choose my news outlets by which one can yell "Shotgun!" faster when the gang is about to pile into a car. Big effin' deal, those seven minutes. Give me insight, wisdom and a good read, and I'll come back day after day. Odds are, I was on a bathroom break myself during those seven minutes.

6:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With more reporters in more locations that most any other news organization, isn't the AP one of the big boys?

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a sad comment, newsosaur, and a cheap shot, really. The AP, with its huge network of reporters and editors funded by all the "little people" is one of the big boys, as someone above noted.

One could argue that the AP isn't just "available" to everyone, but is actually competing against everyone. If something doesn't change in the next few years, the AP could disappear, because it functioned for so long as the pre-Internet RSS feed.

8:19 PM  

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