I got a call from an official of the Associated Press this afternoon at my work number. He or she contends that my diary yesterday, which I have deleted, is filled with fact errors.
Here is some of the e-mail that was sent to me, and my editors.
The views are ill-informed, starting with some of the financial claims.
However, there is one seriously erroneous assertion, up high in the
piece: "The AP gets more than 75 percent of its news stories from
newspapers, with the rest coming from broadcast, online news sources and
This is absurd and I ask that you correct this error immediately in the
post on DailyKos.
Based on a limited internal study done in 2007, pickups from member
papers comprised 45 percent of AP state wire copy.
But a key distinction: AP's state wires are not licensed to Google and
other online aggregators. These online customers get a selection only of
AP's national and international stories.
Only a tiny fraction (less than 2 percent) of the national and
international stories sold by AP to Google, Yahoo and other popular
portals and web sites originated with members of the AP cooperative -
typically a scoop, in which case the member paper is cited.
That is, except for this tiny fraction, the stories sold to Google and
other web sites are original AP reports written by our own staffers.
So, in conclusion, I have deleted the diary. I will not divulge who the person is who has contacted me because I would not like to see him or her targeted in any way.
Because this person outed me to my editors, he or she could have put my career, my earning power, my wife and my 5-month-old son in danger if I had lost my job as a result. Fortunately, I handed in my two-weeks notice just yesterday because I have found a different job with a different company.
Just wanted to let you know. This is the AP's official response to what I wrote. Do with it what you will.
As for anyone else who decides to write about the AP, please be careful that you have no information attached to your username that can be traced back to you or your workplace because they will think nothing of exposing you.
Thanks for reading.
UPDATE: Incidentally, the one fact error that I made does not exactly change the point of what I wrote yesterday -- and that is that newspapers don't need the AP as much as the AP needs newspapers.
And another thing, I have never posted here as a representative of anyone other than myself. I have never pretended to represent my employers. And yet this person made it a point to out me to my editors.
Bringing up a fact error from one reporter to another is just fine, but I think a line has been crossed when you threaten my career.