Huzzah: A president at newswire operator Thomson Reuters says traditional journalism is not actually being strangled by Google, blogs and the rest of the internet. And that anyone who thinks so — *cough* AP *cough* — should get a grip.
Thomson Reuters' media group president Chris Ahearn recently tweeted that his company "stands ready to help those who wish an alternative to the AP," the Reuters competitor that has proclaimed it is "mad as hell" at various internet fiends. AP is trying to charge people for quoting as few as five words of its content.
Ahearn has elaborated on his "alternative" in a blog post, writing that too many traditional media organizations waste manpower "recycling commodity news" and that they should instead seek to retool, including by forging a new "win-win relationship" with new media. The executive dispenses bluntly with those who would point the finger, like AP:
Blaming the new leaders... or saber-rattling and threatening to sue are not business strategies – they are personal therapy sessions. Go ask a music executive how well it works... Let's stop whining and start having real conversations.
It sounds like Ahearn has started just such a "real conversation" himself. TechDirt has already blogged back. And Reuters is even authorizing bloggers to "hyperlink" and excerpt its side of things, as God and the U.S. Code intended. Imagine that.
(CORRECTION: This post originally stated that Ahearn was president of all Thomson Reuters; in fact he is president of the firm's "media group.")