Life Without the AP

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

For nearly two months, Google News went with out using Associated Press articles on its site. Those article will soon be returning to the Google site once negatiations between the AP and Google are finished. The negotiation is over the creation of a new licensing argreement the at will allow Google to continue to publish AP articles.

While Google is jumping back on the AP bandwagon, CNN will be getting off and go a week cold turkey from using the AP wires. CNN wants to prove that it is still a top contender in gathering and breaking news by itself.

Unlike Google, does not use AP content or images. CNN only uses AP wires to collect information, but it believes it can rely on its own wires to provide the same great coverage.

However, will this really prove anything? If CNN goes a week without the AP and doesn't end up failing miserably, is one week really enough time to prove that CNN is capable of functioning without help. The only thing that one week can prove is that CNN cannot function on its own, if it ends up failling its own one week test.

I think a better test would be to see if CNN can stay a float for a month by itself. That would be a real test of its news gathering abilities.


Tweeting in the Media

A new form of interviewing is starting to replace the usual "man-on-the-street" work. Now, instead of putting a microphone in front of you and asking you to comment, many media companies may start asking if they can use your Twitter feed. To make this even easier, developing company Wiredset has created Trenderr to sort marketing information for businesses, and now a new site specifically designed for the media: Curatorr.

According to Frederic Lardinois, Curatorr allows the media to perform advanced Twitter searches and place relevant tweets into folders for future use. These tweets can then be shown on television straight off the site.

Curatorr was used first by MTV during the Hope for Haiti Concert to publish tweets on the air, and other networks like CNN have also began to use Curatorr. It currently is only available to TV networks and other media companies, and the price each company will pay depends on how it is used.


Twitter Replaces Fireside Chats?

Paul Boutin, a tech columnist for the New York Times wrote an article last May encouraging President Obama to use Twitter more frequently. Boutin felt that a few 140 character notes from the President could serve as abbreviated fireside chats and could give the White House positive PR.

About eight hours later, Epicenter writer Ryan Singel wrote a scathing reply begging Obama to stay off Twitter and focus on more important issues: running the country for instance.

Since this squabble, Obama's Twitter account has logged 548 tweets. The tone of this feed is less formal than that of the official White House Twitter feed which is run unapologetically by his staff. The White House feed has logged 831 tweets. Both of these accounts were created in May 2009.

Obama himself didn't tweet until the recent crisis in Haiti. On January 18, Obama pushed the 'send' button for a tweet written by someone else that was published on another's account.
Our technologically adept nation understands that much of the information we receive is given to us by staff members and personal assistants. We don't expect famous people to take time out of their busy days to fill us in. And, as far as the President is concerned, it is reassuring that he is too concerned with the nation's affairs to worry about projecting his personal image on a social networking site.
It's been a few months shy of a year, but I think both columnists got their wishes granted. The White House and the President have made a greater effort to connect with the people virtually, but the President has not neglected his duties to become more popular.


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