The AP's news-aggregation ambitions

In a Nieman Journalism Lab post earlier today, Tim Windsor lamented the fact that, in his speech earlier this week, AP chairman Dean Singleton "curse[d] the darkness" rather than vowing that AP would "create something new and better." The first thing Windsor wished Singleton had said was, "We're going to build something better than Google News."

In fact, that seems to be the plan. From BusinessWeek:

In a largely overlooked aspect of its battle with Google (GOOG) and other aggregators of news content, the AP plans to build an online destination where it hopes Web users can easily find and read its news stories and those of other content creators. When it comes to compiling online news, the AP wants to out-Google Google. The Web search giant "has a wacky algorithm" for collecting news stories, AP Chief Executive Tom Curley says in an interview. "It does not lead people to authoritative sources."
As an alternative, Curley plans to create "landing pages" that would host articles from any news sources that allow their headlines on the site. Participating outlets would share revenue generated by ads placed on those pages, "monetizing content in an ecosystem that would be different from the Google ecosystem," Curley says. The sites would include both national and local media outlets. "There are some pretty exciting ways to showcase some of the core features of local newspapers," Curley adds. 
I lack the tech savvy to say if Curley's "wacky" characterization is fair. But even if it's not, the proposed AP model sounds pretty intriguing.


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