OLD Media Moves

More details from AP's biz desk revamp

July 18, 2008

New Associated Press business editor Hal Ritter sent an e-mail to the staff earlier this week in which he discussed the overhaul where the wire service will focus on 12 core beats.

Here are some additional details of the reorganization, per Ritter’s e-mail:

Associated Press“All domestic reporters will be on one of 12 core beats. International business reporters, when they join Business News, will be a mix of beat reporters and GAs because of the variety of stories that need to be covered overseas. Aggressively staffing the 12 beats will give us:

Deeper coverage of breaking news. Beat reporters can write a spot news story faster and better than a general assignment reporter. They can add context, perspective and, when needed, analysis to a routine news story that GAs are unable to. We want coverage from a NewsAlert on to be as authoritative and useful to readers as possible. We want Web customers to choose AP spot stories over those of competitors they have access to. Deeper, more authoritative coverage of breaking news is an important goal — and will be a key benefit — of the new beat system.

More scoops. Breaking news will be a core value in Business News. Scoops are critically important to making customers — and their readers — think of AP as a consistent source of important news they can’t get anywhere else. To consider us indispensable. News organizations that don’t break news think it’s hard to do. It’s not. It requires making a commitment and setting reporters up to succeed. We’ll make the commitment, and the move to reporting teams covering beats will position people to succeed. We can also leverage the AP brand, our multiple platforms and our customer base to convince sources that we are the news organization of choice to offer important news. The word ‘important’ is indeed important. Whether news a company doesn’t want revealed or news a company is offering us, we want to break big stories.

More excellent enterprise. Delivering outstanding enterprise stories on all 12 beats will be critically important to serving newspaper, broadcast and Web customers better. We’ll work hard to make our spot news more valuable than competitors’. We’ll break more stories through beat reporting. But we also must give customers significantly more enterprise. Stories that are authoritative, compelling and useful to their readers – and that no one else has. Enterprise will take many forms, but almost all will be stories developed off the news or by working a beat. We want stories that are timely and of great value to readers interested in the beat.”

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