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The AP's Shift Isn't Sloppy, It's Deliberate

The Associated Press hasn't been having a good year. It’s been striking, in part because it’s unexpected — the AP has not exactly earned a reput

The Associated Press hasn't been having a good year. It’s been striking, in part because it’s unexpected — the AP has not exactly earned a reputation of being the Fox News of wire services. For the AP to do so many poor reports in such a short time made it seem as if the outlet had undergone some kind of deliberate shift.

As it happens, it has.

[Ron Fournier, the new head of The Associated Press’s Washington bureau] is a main engine in a high-stakes experiment at the 162-year old wire to move from its signature neutral and detached tone to an aggressive, plain-spoken style of writing that Fournier often describes as “cutting through the clutter.”

Fournier calls the trend “accountability journalism” and “liberating ... the truth.”

In principle, I couldn’t be more pleased. If the AP wants to bring accountability to campaign coverage, I’d be thrilled.

But I’ve seen the results of Fournier’s experiment. The AP is failing badly.

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