Kathleen Carroll, Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of the Associated Press, will speak during the session entitled "Will Web 2.0 give birth to Journalism 2.0?" at the upcoming World Editors Forum, to be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, June 1-4.
In the last six months, AP has codified its news delivery process to follow the rule of '1-2-3 filing' for all of its stories. (This process was partly based on findings from AP's anthropological study of young digital news consumers, which will also be presented during the Forum.)
Under this process, "It no longer is an assumption that text is the default and only way to tell a story." said Carroll.
This doesn't (yet) put into question the predominance of text in newspapers and its efficiency as a medium. "It's the best way to get the fast word out," she said. Only now, AP reporters also think about the most appropriate media to tell a story, which will be of most use to customers.
In the '1-2-3' model:
- 1st: AP delivers a simple headline, in about fifty character, for quick breaking news updates
- 2nd: 'AP News Now' - the news agency produces a 130-word summary of the story, written in a platform-agnostic style "that can be read on the air by broadcaster, or used online, or even printed in some print publications," said Carroll.
- 3rd: AP editors and reporters then think of the best way - or media - to tell the story. In some cases, this is simply a 500-word story. In others, an interactive graphic or video are more appropriate. Some stories don't have a third step: the 130-word sum-up was sufficient. Others "blossom into many stories."
The second and third steps are most significant in taking the AP to 'Journalism 2.0'. "It doesn't sound radical when you say it out loud," she said, but it is "if you inject it into your daily news decisions."
For example, following the cyclone in Myanmar, AP produced a detailed interactive graphic, which was widely picked up and even used by US broadcaster MSNBC.
After the earthquake in China, AP decided to distribute a user-generated video shot during the earthquake (AP has regularly invited users to contribute content, particularly imagery, through portals such as SendtoAP.com).
"In that case, the video was the story," said Carroll. "There was nothing that we could write that was going to make that story more compelling than being able to watch two and half minutes of people falling off bicycles and running around as the ground shook."
Source: Kathleen Carroll, Executive Editor and Senior Vice President, Associated Press