AUSTRALIA’S national news agency launched a politics service this week with the hope of attracting new customers.
The Australian Associated Press, traditionally a wholesaler of news to the media, said it hopes to establish a “direct relationship with MPs, government departments and the corporate sector” with its new paid website, AAP Newswire – Politics.
AAP editor-in-chief Tony Gillies told News Now the site drew on agency journalists’ experience in providing comprehensive, unbiased political coverage.
“Our main strength is dealing with the facts, stories as they happen: what’s been said, who said it, and what they’re doing,” Mr Gillies said.
“It is the AAP reporter, typically, who is in the press gallery long into the night after other media organisations have left.
“We’re one of those rare media groups that is in there for the long haul,” he added.
The new site is not designed to compete with newspapers, Mr Gillies said. It streams political reports and backgrounders, but it also charts the progress of bills through Parliament, draws on MPs’ social media interaction and provides detailed profiles of all MPs.
“The AAP Newswire – Politics website. . .captures in one place all of those stories, all of the bills that have been put forward and the progress of those things. It also tracks the debate that goes on in Parliament, and of course the door-stop interviews that happen outside. It’s really a complete political news portal,” Mr Gillies said.
The new site went live on Tuesday, the Federal Parliament’s first sitting day of 2012.
A year’s access to the site costs A$195 for individuals, with no republishing rights.
New features will be added over the next month, while tablet and smartphone applications are expected to launch in March.