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AP test claims 50% of countries with FOI laws ‘do not follow them’

November 17th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

Of the 105 countries which have laws governing the freedom of information, more than 50 per cent “do not follow them”, according to a test carried out by the Associated Press.

In a report on the findings of its test AP reveals that it sent out requests for information on “terrorism arrests and convictions … to the European Union and the 105 countries with right-to-know laws or constitutional provisions”, to find out how well they follow the rules.

According to its findings a total of just 14 gave complete responses and abided by the set time limit to do so in, while 38 “eventually answered most questions”.

The figures show 51 per cent of countries (a total of 54) approached for information by AP had not given it at the time of writing while 6 per cent “refused to disclose information, citing national security”.

Right-to-know laws seem to work better in some new democracies than older ones, the AP test showed, because their governments can adopt what has worked elsewhere.

Read the full report here.

AP is also asking its audience to send in ideas for more FOI requests they could make elsewhere.

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Nieman: AP Interactive and a visual future for breaking news

April 27th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Data, Design and graphics, Editors' pick

Nieman Journalism Lab’s Justin Ellis has written an interesting post on the development of Associated Press’ interactive output, which has nearly doubled over the past two years.

Among other things, Ellis touches on on the work of the AP Interactive department covering breaking news stories with graphics:

The trick in being able to roll out these features so quickly (and likely another reason the department has increased its output) is the usage of templates, Nessa said. That basic form allows the artists, programmers, and others on staff to publish graphics quickly — and to continuously update them as more information comes in from reporters. That’s why when events like Japan’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit, you could find not only breaking reports from the AP, in text, but also incredible photography and interactive graphics that harnessed reporting from correspondents as well as accounts and images from on-the-ground witnesses.

See the full post at this link.

Interactives, graphics and visualisation are among a range of essential topics for modern journalists that will be covered at Journalism.co.uk’s upcoming news:rewired conference. See the full agenda at this link.

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AP: Huffington Post sale boosts newspaper stocks

February 8th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick

Shares in some of the big publicly quoted American newspaper groups rose yesterday on the back of news of AOL’s £195m acquisition of the Huffington Post.

Gannett rose 2.8 per cent yesterday and the New York Times Company 2.7 per cent.

According to the Associated Press, the flurry of trading activity shows that investors are still interested in news companies. “The [Huffington Post] deal raised the value on leading branded digital properties,” one analyst told the newswire.

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Have your say on the AP 2011 Stylebook

October 27th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism

Do you find yourself critiquing news reports for poor writing style, bad punctuation or incorrect phrasing? If so then this is definitely one for you. The Associated Press (AP) has again opened up the floor to the public for entry suggestions to its 2011 Stylebook.

Last year the AP decided to ask for suggestions for its new section on social media and received 237 ideas in response.

Now the guide’s editors are asking for more suggestions for the next revision. The Stylebook itself features a main A-Z as well as the areas listed below:

  • Social Media Guidelines;
  • Business Guidelines;
  • Sport Guidelines;
  • Punctuation Guide;
  • Briefing on Media Law;
  • Photo Captions;
  • Interactive Department;
  • Filing Practices;
  • Filing the Wire.

The deadline for offering suggestions for the 2011 Stylebook is 15 November.

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James Beard Journalism Awards and Associated Press bylines go platform-neutral

October 15th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Multimedia, Online Journalism

The James Beard Journalism Awards – “the Oscars of the food world” – are to go platform-neutral. Categories for the awards will no longer be arranged according to platform but content.

“Why? Because we cracked a window … and noticed it was 2010 outside,” wrote Kat Kinsman, who is also on the committee that oversees the awards, for CNN’s Eatocracy section. “This is not a dance on the grave of print publication … Rather, this is an acknowledgment that online contributions should no longer be relegated to the kids’ table.”

Full story on sfnblog.com.

Associated Press also signalled a move toward multi-platform today, announcing that it would no longer byline its stories “Associated Press Writer”. According to an Editor & Publisher report, bylines will now feature the journalist’s name, followed simply by “Associated Press”.

Thomas Kent, the AP’s deputy managing editor and the man responsible for editorial standards, told E&P the new platform-neutral style is “consistent with the change in AP journalists. It reflects what’s been going on for a long time – people go out, they take pictures, they write stories, they do video, they work on different platforms.”

Full story on Editor & Publisher.

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BJP: Photographer drops copyright claim over iconic Obama image

August 23rd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Freelance, Photography

The Associated Press and freelance photographer Mannie Garcia have settled a dispute over copyright of an iconic image of President Barack Obama, with both parties dropping their claims, reports the British Journal of Photography.

But the case involving artist Shepard Fairey, who claims he used the image to create his HOPE poster of the US leader, is yet to be settled or judged.

Full story on the British Journal of Photography at this link…

Image: Albany_Tim on Flickr

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CNN drops Associated Press in favour of its own ‘distinctive’ content

June 22nd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick

CNN has announced that it will no longer use content (stories, video and photographs) from the Associated Press (AP), “ending a business relationship that had been in place since the cable network’s inception”.

Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide, said in a memo to employees that the decision to discontinue the network’s use of the wire service was part of a strategy to “more fully leverage CNN’s global newsgathering investments.”

“We will no longer use AP materials or services,” Walton wrote. “The content we offer will be distinctive, compelling and, I am proud to say, our own.”

It is to use Reuters to supplement its breaking news coverage. While cutting the deal with AP will save CNN money, Walton claimed it was only “partly a business decision”.

Full announcement at this link…

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E&P: AP videojournalist in the thick of it in the Gulf of Mexico

June 10th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

Rich Matthews, a videojournalist with Associated Press, decided to report from the Gulf of Mexico’s oil-slicked waters. Not content with looking overboard, he went diving, intending first to go 60 feet but having to cut this back to 20 feet due to the lack of visibility.

I jump off the boat into the thickest, reddest patch of oil I’ve ever seen (…) I open my eyes and realise my mask is already smeared. I can’t see anything and we’re just five seconds into the dive.

Full story at this link…

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AP updates Stylebook with social media guidelines

The Associated Press (AP) has updated its Stylebook to include 42 new entries under a special social media section. The new edition of the style guide, which is widely used in the US and internationally, has changed its recommendation for “web site” to “website” and now includes terms such as “app”,” blogs”, “click-throughs”, “friend” and “unfriend”, “metadata”, “RSS”, “search engine optimisation”, “smart phone”, trending, widget and wiki. (Not all necessarily in keeping with the Journalism.co.uk house style…)

The new Stylebook also includes advice for journalists using social media for their work, in particular tips on how to use Twitter and Facebook effectively.

Full release at this link…

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AP to launch copyright tracking system on 14 July

May 4th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Legal

The Associated Press will launch its news registry on 14 July, opening it up to all members and publishers who want to sign up before the end of 2010, the agency has announced.

The new system will automatically notify the agency and members about how their content is used beyond their own websites. It also stores information identifying each piece of AP content distributed and its terms of use.

The registry will make use of the new microformat for metadata introduced by the AP earlier this month, which has been added to all its news stories online to encourage an industry standard for tagging.

“Beyond analytics, the registry also will set the stage for a new way of doing business as a cooperative,” says Tom Curley, AP president and CEO, in a release.

“Every content creator who uses the registry will be able to set the rights for the use of that content, so that it can be copied legally or used in new products that the industry or others create with proper permission and compensation.”

More than 200 AP member newspapers have signed up as beta testers of the system and the agency expects this number to reach 600 by the July launch date.

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