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While the Associated Press has been trying to beat back threats to defect by member newspapers over the fee structure being implemented next year, a sizable number are still interested in sticking around to take advantage of its growing web tools. The wire service company says that 500 newspapers have signed up for AP Member Marketplace, the online system that lets its subscribers exchange stories, photos and graphics. The service, which was unveiled back in April, is set to get some enhancements this week. In Ohio, 53 papers have asked for access so far, with 45 in Pennsylvania and 26 in Texas are among the 20 states where 10 or more member newspapers have signed up.
The offer of additional online capabilities comes as the AP faces greater challenges from the web. For example, struggling newspapers being targeted by sites like Politico.com, which is positioning itself as something of a wire service by providing coverage of Washington, DC, as part of its new ad network. The AP, which has 1,500 members, hopes that by serving as a broker for members to share news, it will help it maintain advantage against Politico and other upstarts. And to reassure existing members who have been vexed by the AP’s emphasis on web-based offerings, the Marketplace doesn’t affect the content in existing state news reports. Release.