March 21, 2008

The Associated Press Admits It’s a Glorified Paparazzi Agency

With now completely offline, who’s going to step up battle TMZ? The AP!

The Associated Press has long been looking to be part of The Britney Spears Economy in a more in-depth way. And now they will: Twenty-one new hires will take over New York, Los Angeles, and London to broaden the wire’s entertainment coverage. But it’s not like they’re en route to becoming a frilly paparazzi and news service, you see — they’re “not about gossip, unnamed sources and innuendo or about ‘peephole’ journalism with AP photographers becoming paparazzi.”

What, they’re going to use our favorite excuse of covering the paparazzi as an excuse to tail Posh and Becks?

If it sounds like the new, most costly AP is simply moving to where the dollars are, you’re right. Its failed costly youth-oriented premium service “asap” (yes, in lowercase) bombed and was quickly dissolved. So why will this move be different?

Because they’re not going after a niche market. Everybody loves celebrities like everybody loves Raymond.

So will publicists have yet another battlefield on their hand? Not according to AP entertainment director Daniel Becker, whose staff memo says, “In a realm in which gossip and innuendo abound, particularly on the Web, our standards establish us as the trusted, authoritative voice on entertainment for all our members and customers.”

Basically, they’re going to issue a lot of rep-provided denials. And don’t we already have a place for that?

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