AP launches rolling news blog

The Associated Press has launched a weblog aimed at younger audiences. Far And Wide provides signposts to the news stories flying across the AP’s global news wires, from the agency staff’s own perspective.

According to the debut entry, it will be “a fresh way into the news, one that puts you squarely in the places where news is happening, and in the newsrooms where reporters’ stories go out to the world”.

The weblog was launched on blog software provider Six Apart’s TypePad platform by ASAP, the multimedia-focused AP website offshoot launched in 2005 with a remit to appeal to 18 to 34-year-olds raised increasingly on a diet of personalised, super-fast news snippets not found at many mainstream destinations.

The opening hours of Far And Wide were dominated by coverage of the Virginia Tech massacre. AP bloggers wrote snap posts linking to reporter colleagues’ despatches from the scene and drew on the wire’s wealth of other packages, including video and audio, to give readers a human guide to the breadth of material output by the agency.

Unlike the AP’s typically dry but functional regular copy, the journal also gives a colourful behind-the-scenes look into the work of editorial staff.

“Reporters, editors, photographers, designers and audiovisual specialists… scour the AP’s far-reaching report to assemble Far And Wide each day,” according to the blog. “The writers of the blog will also seed in exclusive content, from interviews with reporters on the scene to top AP editors talking about the big stories on video, leveraging ASAP’s unmatched access to the greater AP.”

ASAP editor Ted Anthony said in a statement: “We’re always looking for new ways to deliver the world to ASAP subscribers. Video, blogs and interactives are three of the most appealing ways to do that online, so we’re refocusing our resources to put those features front and centre.”

ASAP last year launched a celebrity gossip blog, The Slug. Also Wednesday, it took the opportunity to launch Everything Sacred, a regular video slot on religion, and Up Down Left Right, a similar vehicle for video games.