Time for a change: The Associated Press as Napsterized news

AP started as a cooperative. Today, it is a cooperative in name only. It’s time to take a lesson from music swappers and invent the new AP – a digital cooperative, a Napsterized news service.

The 21st Century news business needs a peer-to-peer network that lets local operations drive cost out of their non-local news packages, divert resources to local web content creation and operate on a level playing field with bloggers, citizen journalists and internet pure plays. —Bob Benz and Mike PhillipsTime for a change: The Associated Press as Napsterized news (Online Journalism Review)

This is a reasonable attempt by the mainstream media to “get it” when it comes to the internet. Another detail that caught my eye:

Confronted with the rapidly growing need for web-specific content like Flash files, audio clips and other multimedia elements, AP has chosen to spend more of its members’ money to create that content rather than facilitate content-sharing among its members.

I’m planning to introduce a Flash unit in an upcoming (Fall 2006, if memory serves) New Media Projects course.