Will Some Papers Drop AP When It Starts Charging for Web Stories?

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By: E&P Staff

What will happen in January when The Associated Press starts charging newspapers and broadcasters an extra fee for using its stories and photographs on their Web sites?

Some experts fear the wire service “will disappear from some sites as hard-pressed news organizations balk” at paying the new licensing fee, James Madore wrote today in Newsday of Melville, N.Y.

The amount of the new levy won’t be determined until summer.

“There are such pressures on newspapers these days — especially chain-owned papers — to save money that I think there’s a real danger as the AP raises its prices the newspapers will drop the service,” Kathleen Richardson, a journalism professor at Iowa’s Drake University, who worked at The Des Moines Register for 20 years, told Madore. “The readers are the ones who are going to suffer. …

“Some places, particularly small, regional newspapers, might decide to change the content of their Web sites — to go more local and just use the content they generate themselves. But the next generation of readers isn’t interested in local news as much as national-type news.”

Madore noted that no papers had yet decided to drop AP and that all newspapers in the New York area were studying the issue.

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