Today's AP, Not Just for Old People Anymore

Actually, we didn't know the Associated Press was just for old people — we've been prematurely curmudgeonly since at least our early teens, so we're maybe not the best example — but apparently it is. How else to explain the need for a new, additional AP service geared toward young readers?

On Monday, the 157-year-old wire service is to start its "younger audience service," offering articles and "experiences" in multimedia formats, with audio, video, blogs and wireless text aimed at reaching readers between 18 and 34 years old. The service, one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by The A.P., is called asap, pronounced letter by letter, meant to evoke the wire service's legendary speed.

But don't fear. This isn't one of those ill-thought-through young-reader projects that assumes we just don't have the attention spans or vocabularies for real news, that all we want to hear about is Britney and Nick and Jessica and American Idol. Oh no, the AP has assured the Times:

[AP executives] said they learned through focus groups and prototypes that young readers want a sophisticated view of the world and they want to be engaged. They said asap would use the word "you" more in its articles but would maintain A.P. standards.

And about time. Because that's the real reason young people don't read newspapers, the lack of the second-person singular.

But you knew that.

A.P Fashions a News Feed for the Young [NYT]