Distressed American papers share content

Divided they fall, united they stand?

Five big New York State papers, with a combined weekday circulation of more than 1.3 million, will share articles and photos,” reports the New York Times. “Nearly all American newspapers have far fewer journalists than they did a few years ago, and content-sharing agreements allow them to expand their reach at no expense …. But it also raises questions about the potential for diminished competition among papers.”

Isn’t this what wire services like AFP, AP, Reuters and CP were designed for? Seems like reinventing the wheel, to me.