Prediction: The Associated Press will Consider Substantial Changes to its Model in 2009

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A number of papers have given the AP notice that they want to cancel their participation in the AP. Most of these are smaller papers – like the Bakersfield Californian, Idaho Falls Post Register, Yakima Herald-Republic and Wenatchee World – seeking to renegotiate down the fees they pay. But some big papers like the Tribune Co. (parent of the LA Times and Chicago Tribune) and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (no relation) have also given notice.

On the one hand, many papers seem to rely on wire service coverage even more in 2009, thanks to closing bureaus in Washington, DC, and foreign capitals. On the other hand, the renewed focus on local coverage means that one article appearing multiple times no longer makes sense. After all, when searching on a topic on Google News, how many links to the same article do you need?

All this means is that the AP needs to re-evaluate who it serves and how it serves them.

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