Another Reason to Worry: The Associated Press' New "Standard" for "News" Is Popularity

The Associated Press, which is increasingly relied upon by traditional papers dealing with staff cutbacks and by new media news re-"broadcasters" such as Yahoo, is signaling a worrisome shift in what it considers "news." Here is an excerpt from the Columbia Journalism Review's recent story about the AP's strategy retreat at Lake Placid:

“'[T]oo often,' [senior managing editor John] Daniszewski writes, 'we expend precious time and scarce resources on work that does not excite and does not get used'—going forward, AP journalists need to 'focus on what gets used and eliminate the leftovers.'”

This seems to move the bar from the aspirational slogan of the New York Times of "all the news that's fit to print" to something more akin to "all the news that's popular." It's a shift that signals the loss of something important. News can be valuable to creating an informed citizenry, even if it's not popular or hot. While the new standard may seem like the key to success in the marketplace, it seems to fit a very narrow definition of success. Read the whole story and the actual memo here.