So it looks like the Associated Press and several daily newspapers are in a financial stare down over a proposed AP rate hike for some of the news content it provides for member papers. The changes are slated to take affect in 2009, but already several newspapers including those run by Tribune (owner of the Courant) have informed the AP they will drop the service instead of paying the higher premiums.

Didn’t want to spend a lot of time the on the reasons behind the dispute, rather I’m thinking about opportunity for enterprising journalists to fill the possible loss of content from AP.

I’m always talking about how journalists need to think more entrepreneurial during these transitional times in media. Could the AP and newspaper standoff be that opportunity? Wouldn’t it be a great idea for a group of journalist to create a news syndicate and compete with AP to offer the same or similar coverage AP wants to sell at higher rates.

Right now, the AP sells each newspaper a package of general news. The content is based on that paper’s location and circulation. The AP content usually include state, breaking news, sports, business, and other national, international, and regional news relevant to the client’s market.

Under the new structure, AP member newspapers will receive all breaking news worldwide (including items from other state wires), as well as breaking sports, business, and entertainment stories. However, a premium package of content made up of non-breaking news including sports, entertainment, business, lifestyle and analysis would cost more.

If I’m not mistaken, there are a bunch of out of work journalists walking around who could certainly bang out great stories and analysis in the same content areas AP wants to sell at a premium rate.

If they AP thinks it can make money off of this type of business model, why shouldn’t some ambitious entrepreneurial journalists endeavour to do the same? 

Hey, it’s just an idea.

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