NNA to market AP News Choice

January 2, 2013

COLUMBIA, MO—The National Newspaper Association on Jan. 2 will roll out a new marketing partnership with The Associated Press to encourage weekly newspapers to take advantage of the AP’s new wire service for weeklies—AP News Choice.
News Choice, available only to papers publishing no more than twice weekly, provides real-time AP news for print or digital publications at a cost designed to fit the smaller newspaper budget. Subscribers will be invited to choose from among several categories of news streams, one of which is state news. The AP has a bureau in every state capital.
Weeklies may also choose to follow a specific topic, such as tourism, energy or agriculture. Another option is national/international news. Stories are delivered into the AP Exchange browser, which enables a user to create searches for people and topics with local ties.
NNA President Merle Baranczyk, publisher of the Mountain Mail in Salida, CO, said News Choice would provide a first-ever opportunity for local community weeklies to bring timely national news home, offered at a time when shrinking news budgets from larger papers may slow the flow of news to small towns and neighborhoods.
“This new partnership is a piece of NNA’s ‘We Believe in Newspapers’ campaign,’ “ Baranczyk said. “We know that most of the large statewide newspapers have cut back, local broadcasting is almost non-existent and trying to follow the news purely on the Internet is a hit-and-miss proposition. It is in the local paper that people are accustomed to finding the news. We now can help weeklies provide that important state capital news and also pull down the feeds on national stories that they can localize as they see fit.
“NNA’s message is that community newspapers continue to serve and thrive. This is one more way we can continue to provide our readers with the news and information they need.”
News Choice provides weekly newspapers with real-time coverage of state government, major college sports and other significant state issues, said Dorothy Abernathy, News Choice product manager for AP. “These are stories that resonate with local readers because they pay state taxes. They attended state universities or know people who do,” she said.
The partnership was brought to NNA members in a soft launch in October during the NNA Annual Convention in Charleston, SC. Several NNA newspapers have elected to audition the new wire in a free two-week trial period as they consider how they want to package the product in their newspapers and on websites or other digital offerings.
The NNA manager for News Choice is Sara Walsh, located in NNA’s Columbia, MO, office. She can be reached at sarawalsh@nna.org.
Abernathy said, The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP. On the Web: www.ap.org.

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