With the close of the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service on the horizon and now the relocation of The New York Times news service to Florida and losses of jobs with both-- I'm beginning to wonder about the value or at least structure of news services. At a news service, an awful lot of work goes into organizing, coordinating with multiple contributors, matching story and photo slugs, scheduling story budgets against different time zones, etc., much of it unseen by its clients unless there's a mistake.
Do newspapers need a service that provides material in that way, which slows the delivery but ensures a coherent package?
I would say yes, that as long as print relies on packaging and not necessarily instantaneous delivery of the news, it makes sense. But news services might need to rethink the actual delivery and whether they need stories to arrive in standard wire-service format or whether a simple FTP package might do the trick. News services seem a bit old-fashioned at this stage.