According to CyberJournalist, Google News beat out BBC News Online, MSNBC.com, Poynter’s Romenesko and allAfrica.com to win 2003 Webby Award for best news site. I’d sure like to be a fly on the wall at AP headquarters. I spent a few (pre-Web) years trying to develop and market an “alternative (to AP) wire service.” All of the news and information was “out there.” And there was no shortage of radio stations (our target market) hungry for the information. The challenge was connecting all the dots. We had a big old expensive satellite channel to move the information one way and we busted our hump to “aggragate” (I always liked that word) the information. But people just didn’t want to pay for information. At least, not very much. Fast forward a few years and damned near every newspaper in the world is putting some or all of their stuff online.
The big record labels tell me that although I paid for my copy of the Metallica CD, I can’t rip the songs to a CD and give it to a friend. While they might win this one, keeping me from sending a copy of today’s big news story to five friends (who each send it to five friends).
I always thought the most important part of the Associated Press wasn’t it’s reporters and editors but the “connectedness” of all those newspapers. A way for them to share the news they gathered. Can we agree that has changed forever?