In brief

  • The AP will use a Chainlink oracle to automate news distribution.
  • Data will be secured using Chainlink technology.

The Associated Press, a collective of more than 1,300 newspapers and broadcasters, is moving further into decentralized news and publishing. Today it announced a partnership with Chainlink Labs, and the AP is now launching its own Chainlink node to provide data to blockchain services.

Starting November 2, AP says it will use Chainlink to automate actions that happen on-chain, including informing the over 15,000 outlets that use the AP’s platform of election results, sports outcomes, or when a company's quarterly financials are released. All of that will now be cryptographically signed to verify the data comes from the Associated Press.

"Smart contracts need simple binary data in order to decide whether conditions are met in order to execute themselves." Dwayne Desaulniers, AP’s director of blockchain and data licensing, told Decrypt. "It's much easier to push out simple data than complicated sentences that would be more challenging for smart contracts to interpret and understand."

Since 2020, the AP has used blockchain to publish so-called tamper-proof news, such as the AP's projection that Joe Biden would be the next president of the United States. As reported by Decrypt in November 2020, the AP partnered with Everipedia, a blockchain company that runs a decentralized encyclopedia, to provide verifiable election results in an era of misinformation.


"Anything can be published to the blockchain," said Desaulniers, "but I think it makes a substantial difference when developers see the data coming from a source like the AP which has been in the business for 175 years."

Launched in June 2017, Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that provides real-world data to Ethereum and other blockchain network's smart contracts, which are essentially just lines of code that perform a set of functions once certain conditions are met. The AP says it chose Chainlink because it makes application programming interfaces (APIs) easily compatible, accessible, and monetizable within any blockchain.

"We had such a good positive experience with Chainlink during the last election," said Desaulniers. "It just made total sense to work with them again, because I just think they're the best at what they do."


The Mother of all DAOs

Founded in 1846, the Associated Press is a news cooperative where news outlets come together, share resources, and collectively decide what to publish. Desaulniers says that with the governing structure of the AP, he thinks of it as the mother of DAOs.

"As we look at what the future of news is going to be," Desaulniers said, "I think we'd be insane not to look really closely at a DAO, because that's personally where [I think] AP actually came from."

Editor's note: This article was updated after publication to clarify technical aspects regarding Chainlink and how the AP will make use of its technology.

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