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Why The Associated Press remains the York Daily Record gold standard for calling an election

In a few hours, I hope and expect, The Associated Press will tell us who they have projected to win the 2012 presidential election. They will try to be the first in the nation to report this, but so will every other major news organization out there.

As results explode into the news-sphere, broadcast and cable news reporters will trip over each other. Webmasters and bloggers will burn up their keyboards. Twitter will trend toward the Mother of all Fail Whales.

At YDR, we will watch for AP’s answer.

We might Tweet out that CNN has called Romney or Obama the winner. We might retweet a prediction from the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. If enough time passes, we might post a report on our website about a discrepancy between major sources. But when it comes time for us to say in print or online that one of these guys is the winner, our call will be AP’s call.

This is because AP is the gold standard for fast-and-right. Whether it is a deadly shooting, a military invasion or a presidential election, this is the news service with the reputation that has stood the test of time. It’s no accident. It’s the result of endless efforts and refinements.

As this article from AP’s website explains, election-night results are the result of a massive 50-state coordinated effort.

Just a  bit of insight into why we might seem to be behind some other sources. Trust me, we are ready to pounce. But we must pounce on the right news.