Eight of the largest newspapers in the US state of Ohio have forged an alliance to share their top stories.
The Columbus Dispatch, The Toledo Blade, the Cincinnati Enquirer, The Akron Beacon Journal, The Plain Dealer are amongst newspapers making up the membership of the newly formed Ohio News Organisation (with the unfortunate acronym, OHNO).
Rather than relying to the Associated Press to decide at the end of each news day whether or not to distribute their stories, the papers will now post content to private website – accessible only to those eight newsrooms – from which partner organisations will be able to select pieces to use.
Ted Diadiun, readers representative for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, wrote in his blog that readerships of individual paper would not be threatened as each covers a distinct city, and that story pooling would help them provide a better news service for readers.
“In today’s world, breaking news is measured in minutes, not days,” he wrote.
“It’s important that we provide our readers with the best news reports we can, as soon as we can, on our website and in the best and most current newspaper possible each day.”
All involved are adamant that the move doesn’t signal the end of journalistic competition.
However, no mention has been made on whether any money changes hands for the use of stories or whether AP will still syndicate the stories that are being placed in the new system.
It could just be a neat way to bypass the wire service and cut the cost of using its copy for local news.