I watched that live and several times after. I saw Brian Stelter turn the knob on that door and was practically begging Carroll to step over the threshold into the digital room, like a reverse mentoring model where he tried hard to guide her to see how readers use and misuse Twitter and more importantly, the “trust” attached to a brand that is all about trust. But there is only so much he could do on live tv without explicitly telling Carroll she was incredibly wrong and she has a fundamental misunderstanding about digital, schooling her on why she failed. It was painful to watch and I feel the same sympathy for her. She looked genuinely confused about what happened, like how Brooks stumbled out onto the world after being in Shawshank prison for decades.
The only currency the AP has is trust. Twitter doesn’t have it, Facebook doesn’t. Even legacy press like NYT, WSJ, WaPo squander trust like it’s fungible. The only thing now that is fungible is content. AP sees itself as a content company in a marketplace that is awash with content, but desperately needing trust. There is only so much Snopes can do in a world where so many rats are dragging pizza down the steps.
We need a “tag” on content (photos, stories, the connector of photos to stories) that say “this is absolutely without question authentic, real and factual.” AP used to be that source. I think that one tweet tipped them into just another firehose of crap. Carroll mis-read the opportunity, her actual product, the journalism marketplace and lost the entire value of the AP.