Affirmation is nice, but …

It’s been a week since I posted about the current state of The Associated Press and some of the reasons it is in the shape it’s in. (Here’s a link to the original on Medium.) And, given the world we’re in today, I also posted it on my blog, which meant it also became a tweet, and Tumblr and facebook posts.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been, but I was a bit taken aback by the attention it received. I mean I figured some former colleagues would see it, and I might get some feedback from friends?—?and challengers—but I didn’t really expect what happened.

It didn’t really go viral, but it got retweeted, linked, posted, read, commented on, by several thousand folks on the many platforms where it appeared, either the original ones or as others shared it on their own sites. And a friend sent it along to Jim Romenesko. It got multiple recommendations on Medium?—?and I’m new to this platform, but then it is new itself—and shared in a couple of different “collections.”

And the sad thing is, over and over again, most folks affirmed the comments, often saying it reflected their own experiences over the years. Some even told worse tales.

Agreement wasn’t unanimous, of course, although even those who challenged me acknowledged many of the points were valid. Most of the disagreement came in the form of saying the AP didn’t have much choice, given the changing dynamics of the industry. “It’s just business,” one said.

And then I got this note from a current journalist in West Virginia:

An email newsletter … today reminded me of what you were talking about.

Here’s what it says: “With the expansion of Bureau Chief Dorothy Abernathy’s territory to include DC, Maryland and Delaware, the Virginias’ has gained an AP employee to help with member support. Sabrena Pringle is the marketing assistant for the region, based in Washington D.C. She has worked for AP for five years.”

We have how many overworked WV AP reporters, and we need a marketing assistant? Groan.

Alas, that is as much the issue as anything, focusing on the marketing instead of the product.

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