Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas Zúniga looked at the news sources Daily Kos front-page posts over the past week have relied upon for information:
Out of curiosity, I decided to see where the news we discuss on this site came from the past week, from Monday, April 6, to Sunday, April 12. If we linked to a source that got its information from another site, we followed the links until we got to the original source of the reporting ("secondary" source). In other words, I wanted to categorize the original source of information for every (front page) post on the site. Here's the results of that link inventory:
AP and other Wire: 5 secondary
That compares to 102 primary and 21 secondary for newspapers, leading Kos to conclude:
While newspapers were the most common source of information, they accounted for just 123 out of 628 total original information sources, or just shy of 20 percent.
Again, this doesn't mean I'm gleefull or happy or even neutral on the sorry state of the newspaper industry and the demise of so many great newspapers. It's always sad to lose a good source of journalism. But we live in a rich media environment, easily the richest in world history, and the demise of the newspaper industry will simply shift much of the journalistic work they did to other media.
On the other hand, I will be gleeful when the AP goes out of business. I'm actually shocked at how little we depend on those jerks.
Personally, I don't find the AP to be completely useless. But much of what they do is stenography of the sort Washington Post reporter Paul Kane recently advocated. Nobody needs the AP (or the Washington Post, or any other Establishment media outlet) to simply type up and print things politicians say; politicians have websites and issue press releases.
Another huge chunk of the AP's output consists of nonsense like this (unsuccessful) attempted "gotcha." Again: nobody needs that. As I wrote the other day: "Maybe the AP should spend a little less time worrying about who is quoting their work, and a little more time ensuring their work is worth quoting."