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Saturday, October 01, 2005

News & Generation ASAP

The new Associated Press service for twenty- and thirtysomethings is winning rare reviews. First-person stories behind the story make up only a fraction of asap's content. In its first few hours of public access - it was officially unveiled at noon on Monday - it featured an interactive map explaining an ownership battle over a copy of the Bill of Rights, a photo gallery set to audio, depicting the changes to New Orleans' French Quarter after Hurricane Katrina, and constantly updated spot news pieces, adapted from the AP wire to cater to the asap audience. asap emphasizes interactivity, news as an experience and challenging the status quo of news presentation. The site comes at a time when the news industry is grappling with the question of how to engage young readers. Repeated findings emphasized the fast that the young group can be engaged by fundamentally rethinking news choices and the way news and advertising content are presented. For some of asap's stories, that means tying audio commentary to photos of a news event. For others, it may include interactive maps, blogs or video clips of a scene surrounding what's reported on the wire. asap is also about brevity. asap new site has a dedicated staff of 20, Anthony says, but its news pool includes all of the writers and photographers employed by its parent wire service. Contributions from AP correspondents - in written, video, audio and picture form – will make up 40 percent of asap's content. Some of that will be first-person, story-behind-the-story commentary by AP writers and photojournalists in the field. A good strategy of nicheification in the media sector.

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