If the subject then responds, AP will update the story. If there already have been two versions of a story, for example, and a new response comes in, it will send an alert that says something like "3RD LEAD, INSERT. SUB 11th GRAF TO ADD COMPANY X COMMENT." Then it will give the new paragraph with the response along with instructions on what to delete from the earlier version.
It will quickly be followed by a complete version of the new story, with a heading "3RD LEAD, WRITETHROUGH."
If something else comes in, there will be a 4TH lead, insert, a 5TH lead and so on. In the case of breaking news with ongoing developments, I've seen more than 20 leads on a story.
It is up to the editors at the individual publications to be alert and update, if they even have the personnel to do updates. Sometimes you'll see one site that's still using a first lead while another is using fourth lead.
AP serves many masters. Many with earlier deadlines will want the story right now, and if a subject's response is missing for now, so be it. They can catch up later. So AP gives them that story, and then those with later deadlines can use the more complete story.
That's changing with the 24-hour news cycle and continuous online publication, but enough of AP's revenue comes from print publications and broadcasters with specific deadline needs that the work-in-progress approach isn't going away anytime soon.
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