Associated Press (AP) announced last week bloggers should be credited as news sources in a letter to its members, a both interesting and important move from AP who has not been the best of friends with bloggers in general. This decision made by one of the largest news organizations in the world, one whose example is generally considered to be a news reporting best practice, has a tremendous impact on how bloggers will affect the news agenda and the overall news industry.
Moving a long way from the times of years past when it was great news for bloggers when one of their own would receive a press pass for certain political or other types of events, the AP announcement comes to complement other such moves made in the past six years by publications such as the New York Times or the Washington Post who have increasingly mentioned blogs as credible news sources, or others hiring bloggers as on-the-ground reporters.
Seemingly coming a bit late, the AP decision, although promoting a lighter citation policy for bloggers than for other sources – the attribution to a blogger does not necessarily need to occur in the beginning of a story, it will still generate valuable visibility for blogs, connecting them to large audiences.
There still is a lot of effort to be put into giving news reporting blogs the place and weight they deserve in the news agenda, along with making sure their rights and ability to earn money from their work are protected. Yet the AP announcement has the potential to change the blogosphere in general, providing huge amounts of traffic to blog authors who break the news and encouraging more publications to hire them as reporters, recognizing their power as a group in regional areas.