Pre Internet era:
Your local Newspaper covered International News mostly by sourcing the News article from News agencies, Newspapers and other publications by paying small fee.
This service was valuable, even if they printed the News verbatim without any change, as one did not have any easy option to access such News article. Of course you can fly down to place or get the publication couriered, but for most this simple re-printing service was valuable.
Now coming to Internet era:
Explanation with an example - Check the original article: Top Technology Breakthroughs of 2008 from Wired Magazine.
This same article has been syndicated to an Indian publication Indiatimes and re-published in this article titled: Top Technology Breakthroughs of 2008
Now the key question: What value has Indiatimes added by re-publishing this article in Indian website?
- The original article was presented well and better photographs.
- The original article loaded much faster in my browser
So the "value add" by Indiatimes is none!
Wait. May be "The brand awareness". How many Indians (as Indiatimes' target customer base is India) know wired magazine?
Well it fails here too.
I found the article link through Slashdot and other online feed aggregators (Google readers). I'm an Indian - TG of Indiatimes.
In online World the "power of sharing" through feed aggregators and search engine is bigger than brand.