The maturation of the digital news business hasn’t been kind to the Associated Press. In addition to fighting a pointless battle with Google over the distribution of AP articles in its news channel and taking potshots at aggregators, the iconic news association has been dumped by CNN, as the network pushes its own newswire offering. On top of those strategic missteps it’s obvious the world has passed by a service that, not long ago, was indispensable to journalism.

In 2010, it’s pretty clear that the real associated press is comprised of thousands of strong credible voices breaking news and doing sharp analysis on any topic you can name — not a vast network of expensive reporters churning generic content and a revenue model based on overcharging for the privilege of distributing that content. Finally, there’s a service out there that recognizes that fact and is set to help get those voices more eyeballs, especially those eyeballs that are still glued to the proverbial fish wrapper, all while reducing costs for newspaper publisher.

Publish2’s NewsExchange allows digital media outlets, like ours, to set up newsfeeds to which newspapers can subscribe. So this Sunday, two stories from AOL’s Daily Finance blog appeared in the print version of the Daily Telegram, a newspaper in Michigan. They didn’t cost the publisher anything, since Publish2 functions as a a welcome departure from the steep fees the AP charges its partner newspapers. It’s all currently free, though Publish2 says it is working to create a marketplace that will monetize the flow of news through its system.

In the meantime, the service will play and a reach and branding role for both online and print players. Here’s CEO Scott Karp:

We’re enabling newspapers to barter the value of their trusted brands and their print products, which still reach millions of news consumers, to distribute high quality Web content in place of the AP. In exchange, publishers of high quality on the Web can build their brands in print, as the New AP. The result is a new efficient supply and distribution chain for high quality content brands.

And high quality content brands are the key to premium brand advertising.

In addition to AOL, other digital users include Huffington Post, Techcrunch and Mashable. We’ve set up newsfeeds for a few of our sites to give it a test. We’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Matt Creamer is executive editor of Breaking Media. You can follow him on Twitter at @matt_creamer.