The AP goes app..

September 28, 2009 at 8:08 pm (Uncategorized)

I really love when I come across something useful, yet techie-cool. The AP style app for IPhone is both. Stereotypically app’s have a tendency to be game-like and useless. In my opinion, there is no reason why I need to turn my phone into a virtual sheet of bubble-wrap, but to each their own. This new AP stylebook app however, seems to be one that may be worthwhile and not just for entertainment. It seems that the AP is heading in the right direction, a triumph in the change-wary field of journalism.

Poynter ran the article this morning in order to introduce readers to what they’re citing as the AP’s way to “reach and accommodate new audiences.” The AP seems to have miraculously realized that journalists are constantly running around, and that hauling a book around with them may not be the most convenient.

Poynter cites Colleen Newvine, who is the head of market research for the AP, as saying: “We see that journalists are mobile people…They never know when they’re going to have to be out chasing a story, and maybe lugging their hard-copy stylebook with them isn’t their favorite thing to do.” All I can say is, well Colleen, duh.

If I had the option of hauling a book around, versus reaching into my purse and hitting a button, I’d choose the latter over and over again. There is a reason why youth today barely set foot in a library when they must research a paper — it’s inconvenient.

I constantly feel that journalism is stuck in a decline because many journalists refuse to break out of their comfort zones. However, if we always stuck with what we knew and were comfortable with, chances are we’d still be reading by candlelight.

Success comes from innovation and change, and the AP stylebook app seems to encompass the answer to how to solve journalism’s decline. That answer of course is to get with the times. Just because a company is unwilling to change, doesn’t mean the world will not change without them. The AP seems to have realized this fact and in effort to keep them prominent and successful, they have adapted.

The move from print to online is of course easier said then done, but the evidence for its success is undeniable. Take for instance the Kindle, which allows one to upload electronic books and newspapers and read them on the go. Its been considered by some as the electronic item that could save newspapers. The Times is already the top subscription-based newspapers read on Kindle, which is helping them greatly.

I find it commendable that the stylebook is now portable and technologically savvy. I truly think it is a step in the right direction to be able to have such an important guide in the palm of your hand. AP has the right idea, I just hope that more journalists and news agencies will follow and continue to change with the times.

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