AP alters editing process to boost content delivery

New York: The Associated Press is revising the way it edits and distributes stories in a transition designed to tailor its structure to the faster-paced 21st century media world.

New York: The Associated Press is revising the way it edits and distributes stories in a transition designed to tailor its structure to the faster-paced 21st century media world.

The package of changes, being dubbed as "AP2.0," centers around a new structure of four regional editing hubs across the US, which will handle the full array of editing duties currently distributed across a Byzantine mix of desks around the US.

"The goal is... to speed up delivery of our content to our members and customers," said Mike Silverman, senior managing editor for the AP, "and to rationalize the use of our own resources, which are far too much tied up in processing and reprocessing the same pieces of content almost ad nauseum."

Currently, for example, a story might go to a state desk for initial editing, then to New York for national editing, and then be re-edited several times over again in different places for broadcast and other types of distribution.

Under the new structure, that same story would simply go to the closest regional hub, where it would be prepared immediately for worldwide distribution.

The AP is also focusing on improving and streamlining its multimedia offerings.

"One of the things that the [new] regional desks will be able to do is build from scratch a multimedia regional desk" which can assemble text, video, graphics, and other elements all at once, Silverman said. "The potential for telling stories in
all different formats ... is just so rich that we need to take advantage of it."

Furthermore, the company is in the process of shifting from a satellite-based wire service to a purely digital distribution system - a shift which will be underway for some time.

Locations for the four regional hubs have yet to been chosen, but Silverman said the first two will be running by the middle of next year, and the final two by early 2009.

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