What is the Associated Press, Anyway?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Yesterday, a fake tweet from the Associated Press about an attack on the White House was retweeted thousands of times, and sent stocks down. The stock market recovered quickly, but what's so important about the Associated Press? Kathleen Carrollsenior vice president and executive editor for the Associated Press, joins to explain the AP's standards and why it's the most trusted name in news, and how and why the wire service got some things wrong covering Boston last week.


Kathleen Carroll

Comments [11]

Not true that AP doesn't get news from others.

They often scrape others' news, which I think is fine in this era of limited resources. For example:

"The Honolulu Star-Advertiser ( says the Council Public Safety and Economic Development Committee took up the bill on Tuesday"

Glad poor UPI was mentioned. Scripps-Howard and McClatchy are also shells of their former selves.

Reuters is more market-based, as of course is Bloomberg.

Al Jazeera is the surprise quality up-and-comer here.

Apr. 24 2013 01:49 PM

We've forgotten that AP used to have a competitor who often reported the same stories and was considered to be less biased than the AP based in DC w/ WaPo ownership.

Unfortunately, UPI could not compete & since it was bought by the Moonies it is obviously even more far-right biased now.

At one time, it provided a fact-check to the AP.

Apr. 24 2013 12:49 PM

Nice segment, but I have serious bias concerns. For a time, in the last 3 years, AP has been printing what amounts to op-eds.

Just a few examples:


"PROMISES, PROMISES: Obama's unkept tax pledge"


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama promised to fix health care and trim the federal budget deficit, all without raising taxes on anyone but the wealthiest Americans. It's a promise he's already broken and will likely have to break again.

Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress have already increased tobacco taxes — which disproportionately hit the poor — to pay for extending health coverage to 4 million children in working low-income families.


(This one is straight out of the tobacco industry's playbook, which tries to _keep_ the poor wasting their family's resources on cigarettes, rather than food, rent, education, etc.)


"Crusading NY health chief picked to head CDC"



For seven years, Dr. Thomas Frieden has been the nagging conscience of the nation's biggest city


A challenge to petition signatures was framed as an attempt to destroy democracy:


Source: AP
Date: 2009-07-02

Supporters of an expanded smoking ban approved by the South Dakota Legislature are taking steps to try to prevent the measure from going to a statewide vote.

(I know AP isn't responsible for the headlines some outlets assign, but this one reflects exactly the opening sentence.)

Apr. 24 2013 11:16 AM

I've got to stand up and agree w jgarbuz from Queens on his Israel comment. I've known lots of AP journalists (only one, a photographer, Jewish, actually) and these people are newshounds and reporters above all else. While they may carry an air of righteousness, it is biased toward the scoop, not righting some perceived wrong. Now that I am old enough to understand how paltry and corrupt and random the world's news sources are, I remain all the more impressed at how AP continues to position itself over time.

Apr. 24 2013 11:06 AM
ej from ny

Say the AP can only cover 1 story in a town and they have to choose between Rick Perry doing a musical number about guns or immigrants waiting for paperwork. Which does AP choose?

Apr. 24 2013 10:57 AM

How sad that what this really is, is an interview w potentially the last standing professional news person in the us. That young woman caller actually thought that Fox News is not just reading off of their ap feed, at best.

Apr. 24 2013 10:57 AM
Bob from Pelham, NY

A news organization getting ahead of the facts is not a new concern. New reporters at competitor UPI used to be warned against filing stories before confirming facts -- which they called "Dag Hammarskjöld" stories, referring to the 1961 incident when AP reported that the UN Secretary General had landed as planned in the Congo when actually his plane had crashed and he had died. (We used to wonder what UPI mistake was used by AP to make the same point to its new recruits.)

Apr. 24 2013 10:56 AM
Kass from Brooklyn

More and more small newspapers, as they lose local staff, use AP stories, even for news close to home. Some small papers, and I notice, larger ones, too. Can you comment on the fact that AP really is ad hoc turning into newspapers around the country?

Apr. 24 2013 10:55 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

From what I understand, the AP is the only news gathering organization that simply gives FACTS without any editorializing, unlike BBC or Al Jazeera or most others that have an economic or ideological reasons for bending "the news." They go to AP "just for the facts, ma'am."

In particular, when it comes to Israel, most international organizations are slanted against Israel primarily because they have to cater to vast Muslim audiences hell bent against Israel. So the news about Israel is invariably slanted against it, except for Murdoch's pro-Israel news organization. But the AP has no axe to grind one way or the other. It gets paid to get the facts, and nothing else.

Apr. 24 2013 10:53 AM
Sarah from UES

Can you ask your guest about criticism the AP has pro-Israel slanted bias?

Apr. 24 2013 10:50 AM

I know what AP is. what I don’t understand is why the old ladies on wall st are allowed to have so much influence on our lives.
PS it is reported that computer programs are doing the selling anyway.
do we need these trader/traitors?

Apr. 24 2013 10:38 AM

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