As Jeff Jarvis points out, the internet has seriously upset the major international wire services’ business model:
I understand the very tough position wire services find themselves in with our dynamic, distributed world today: Once they serve one client and that client serves one story, they serve the world. And when all sources of news can be seen at once, the value of any one source declines.
For the past century, the big global wire services were “news wholesalers” — they didn’t interact directly with the news-reading public except through the newspapers who paid for access to the stories produced by their global network of reporters.
In television, it&rsuo;s still very much like this. How many people have heard of Reuters TV or APTN, the two services whose cameramen provide nearly all of the international news footage everyone in the world sees each day?
On the print side, though, the agencies have had to look at becoming news retailers.
And they have responded in very different ways. Agence France-Presse has pulled its content from Google News by threatening to sue the search engine. Jarvis’s Buzzmachine post examines the Associated Press’s approach. Reuters, meanwhile, is embracing a new consumer-facing role.