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Spreading the news

Content sharing between local news media has expanded again, and that’s great news for you, the audience of readers, listeners and watchers.

To a degree, it’s old news here in the North Country, where five daily newspapers — Watertown Daily Times, Malone Telegram, Post-Star of Glens Falls, Press-Republican of Plattsburgh and us — started sharing all our stories and photos about our shared congressional district way back in 2014. In 2018 we expanded that to include all our coverage.

It’s one thing for newspapers owned by the same company to share content, but the North Country coalition was a brave new world. Some of us had been fierce rivals, although finances had made it necessary to pull back a bit and no longer butt heads with our neighbors.

In the last week-and-a-half, you may have noticed some articles from other New York newspapers — not just the North Country — appearing in the Enterprise. Allow us to formally introduce this new initiative by the Associated Press and its members throughout the state.

The AP has given its New York members a new service called AP StoryShare, which does exactly what its name says. And we’re making good use of it.

The AP still has its own staff of reporters and editors producing news articles around the state, and it still rewrites some of its members’ articles in short form for members’ use. You and your ancestors have been reading those in this newspaper for a century. That isn’t changing.

But now editors and producers from the state’s print, TV and radio newsrooms are sharing entire stories and photos, offering them to the rest of the state’s AP members — with proper credit, of course, to both the reporter and the media outlet.

So far, more than a dozen news organizations have shared content, of both regional and statewide interest.

For instance, we ran on page A1 last week a story the Albany Times Union had broken, and then shared, about how the state’s new open government director was hired in secret, declined to be interviewed, and had a track record in her former state job of letting her agency keep documents secret and refusing newspapers’ disclosure requests. That’s just one of at least seven articles we’ve run so far through this service.

Meanwhile, stories we have shared include an earthquake, a beer tax proposal, an icy 46er trek, Saranac Lake’s Ice Palace, Lake Placid Olympic venue upgrades and e-sports at Paul Smith’s College. We know at least some of those have been picked up by other members.

It gives every newsroom in New York more high-quality options on what to present to their audience, beyond what their own staffs produce. It lets us offer you in-depth reporting on a topic that we can’t spare a reporter for, but some newsroom somewhere can.

It therefore helps every news reader, listener or viewer in the state be more informed on more goings-on statewide, not just in typical news hubs such as New York City or Albany but in small towns.

It extends the reach of good and interesting things, and extends the warning of what to be cautious about.

It helps us keep up with covering the innumerable things our state government is doing every day, which you have a right to know.

Content-sharing deals are popping up all over the country as media realize it’s better to pool resources than to compete. For now, AP StoryShare is a bit of a trial run, but also a promising prototype. New York is the first state in the nation getting this service, and the AP hopes to replicate it elsewhere. We think it’s great and are committed to making it work.

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