A news agency is an organization that gathers news reports and sells them to subscribing news organizations, such as newspapers, magazines and radio and television broadcasters. A news agency may also be referred to as a wire service, newswire, or news service.
Although there are many news agencies around the world, three global news agencies, Agence France-Presse (AFP), Associated Press (AP) and Reuters, have offices in most countries of the world and cover all areas of information. All three began with and continue to operate on a basic philosophy of providing a single objective news feed to all subscribers; they do not provide separate feeds for conservative or liberal newspapers. Jonathan Fenby explains the philosophy:
To achieve such wide acceptability, the agencies avoid overt partiality. Demonstrably correct information is their stock in trade. Traditionally, they report at a reduced level of responsibility, attributing their information to a spokesman, the press, or other sources. They avoid making judgments and steer clear of doubt and ambiguity. Though their founders did not use the word, objectivity is the philosophical basis for their enterprises – or failing that, widely acceptable neutrality.
Only a few large newspapers could afford bureaus outside their home city. They relied instead on news agencies, especially Havas (founded 1835) in France and the Associated Press (founded 1846) in the United States. Former Havas employees founded Reuters in 1851 in Britain and Wolff in 1849 in Germany; Havas is now Agence France-Presse (AFP). For international news, the agencies pooled their resources, so that Havas, for example, covered the French Empire, South America and the Balkans and shared the news with the other national agencies. In France the typical contract with Havas provided a provincial newspaper with 1800 lines of telegraphed text daily, for an annual subscription rate of 10,000 francs. Other agencies provided features and fiction for their subscribers.
In the 1830s, France had several specialized agencies. Agence Havas was founded in 1835 by a Parisian translator and advertising agent, Charles-Louis Havas, to supply news about France to foreign customers. In the 1840s, Havas gradually incorporated other French agencies into his agency. Agence Havas evolved into Agence France-Presse (AFP). Two of his employees, Bernhard Wolff and Paul Julius Reuter, later set up rival news agencies, Wolffs Telegraphisches Bureau in 1849 in Berlin and Reuters in 1851 in London. Guglielmo Stefani founded the Agenzia Stefani, which became the most important press agency in Italy from the mid-19th century to World War II, in Turin in 1853.
The development of the telegraph in the 1850s led to the creation of strong national agencies in England, Germany, Austria and the United States. But despite the efforts of governments, through telegraph laws such as in 1878 in France, inspired by the British Telegraph Act of 1869 which paved the way for the nationalisation of telegraph companies and their operations, the cost of telegraphy remained high.
In the United States, the judgment in Inter Ocean Publishing v. Associated Press facilitated competition by requiring agencies to accept all newspapers wishing to join. As a result of the increasing newspapers, the Associated Press was now challenged by the creation of United Press Associations in 1907 and International News Service by newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst in 1909. Driven by the huge U.S. domestic market, boosted by the runaway success of radio, all three major agencies required the dismantling of the "cartel agencies" through the Agreement of 26 August 1927. They were concerned about the success of U.S. agencies from other European countries which sought to create national agencies after the First World War. Reuters had been weakened by war censorship, which promoted the creation of newspaper cooperatives in the Commonwealth and national agencies in Asia, two of its strong areas. After the Second World War, the movement for the creation of national agencies accelerated, when accessing the independence of former colonies, the national agencies were operated by the State. Reuters, became cooperative, managed a breakthrough in finance, and helped to reduce the number of U.S. agencies from three to one, along with the internationalization of the Spanish EFE and the globalization of Agence France-Presse.
In 1924, Benito Mussolini placed Agenzia Stefani under the direction of Manlio Morgagni, who expanded the agency's reach significantly both within Italy and abroad. Agenzia Stefani was dissolved in 1945, and its technical structure and organization were transferred to the new Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA). Wolffs was taken over by the Nazi regime in 1934, and Reuters continues to operate as a major international news agency today. In 1865, Reuter and Wolff signed agreements with Havas's sons, forming a cartel designating exclusive reporting zones for each of their agencies within Europe.
Since the 1960s, the major agencies were provided with new opportunities in television and magazine, and news agencies delivered specialized production of images and photos, the demand for which is constantly increasing. In France, for example, they account for over two-thirds of national market.
News agencies can be corporations that sell news (e.g., Press Association, Thomson Reuters and United Press International). Other agencies work cooperatively with large media companies, generating their news centrally and sharing local news stories the major news agencies may choose to pick up and redistribute (i.e., Associated Press (AP), Agence France-Presse (AFP) or American Press Agency (APA)) and Indian Press Agency PTI.
Governments may also control news agencies: China (Xinhua), France (Agence France-Presse), Russia (ITAR-TASS), and several other countries have government-funded news agencies which also use information from other agencies as well.
The major news agencies generally prepare hard news stories and feature articles that can be used by other news organizations with little or no modification, and then sell them to other news organizations. They provide these articles in bulk electronically through wire services (originally they used telegraphy; today they frequently use the Internet). Corporations, individuals, analysts, and intelligence agencies may also subscribe.
News sources, collectively, described as alternative media provide reporting which emphasizes a self-defined "non-corporate view" as a contrast to the points of view expressed in corporate media and government-generated news releases. Internet-based alternative news agencies form one component of these sources.
There are several different associations of news agencies. EANA is the European Alliance of Press Agencies, while the OANA is an association of news agencies of the Asia-Pacific region. MINDS is a global network of leading news agencies collaborating in new media business.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) is an international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Agence Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency, and is the third largest news agency in the modern world after the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters.
AFP has regional offices in Nicosia, Montevideo, Hong Kong, and Washington, D.C., and news bureaux in 150 countries. AFP transmits in French, English, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, and German.Anadolu Agency
Anadolu Agency (Turkish: Anadolu Ajansı, abbreviated AA) is an international news agency headquartered in Ankara, Turkey.Bernama
The Malaysian National News Agency (Malay: Pertubuhan Berita Nasional Malaysia), abbreviated BERNAMA, is a news agency of the government of Malaysia. It is an autonomous body placed under the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia. Bernama is an abbreviation of Berita Nasional Malaysia. Bernama also means named or titled in the Malay language. It was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1967 and started work on 20 May 1968. Being the Malaysian government's official news agency, Bernama's content and views are decidedly right-leaning and pro-government of the day.EFE
Agencia EFE, S.A. (Spanish: [ˈefe]) is a Spanish international news agency, the major multimedia news agency in Spanish language and the world's fourth largest wire service after the Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse. EFE was created in 1939 by Ramón Serrano Súñer, then Spain's Interior Minister.
Agencia EFE is a news agency that covers all areas of information in the news media of the press, radio, television and Internet. It distributes around three million news per year, thanks to its 3,000 journalist from 60 nationalities. Operates 24/7 from more than 180 cities in 120 countries and with four editing tables in three continents: Madrid, Bogotá, Cairo (Arabic), and Rio de Janeiro (Portuguese).Employees in Spain are represented by several labor unions. EFE has about 40 employees in the United States who voted on 29 September 2005 to be represented by the News Media Guild. Workers ratified a first labor contract in December 2006, marking the first time the company had ever reached such an agreement outside Spain.
The agency organized the second News Agencies World Congress (NAWC) in 2007.Fars News Agency
The Fars News Agency is a news agency in Iran. While it describes itself as "Iran's leading independent news agency", it is widely described by news media to be a "semi-official" news agency of the Government of Iran. All its content is Creative Commons licensed.Interfax-Ukraine
The Interfax-Ukraine News Agency (Ukrainian: Інтерфакс-Україна) is a Kiev-based Ukrainian news agency founded in 1992. The company belongs to the Russian news group Interfax Information Services. The company publishes in Ukrainian, Russian and English.The company owns a 50-seat press centre.Iranian Students News Agency
The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) is a news organization run by Iranian university students.Korean Central News Agency
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) is the state news agency of North Korea. The agency portrays the views of the North Korean government for both domestic and foreign consumption. It was established on December 5, 1946.Kyodo News
Kyodo News (共同通信社, Kyōdō Tsūshinsha) is a nonprofit cooperative news agency based in Minato, Tokyo. It was established in November 1945 and it distributes news to almost all newspapers, and radio and television networks in Japan. The newspapers using its news have about 50 million subscribers. K. K. Kyodo News is Kyodo News' business arm, established in 1972. The subdivision Kyodo News International, founded in 1982, provides over 200 reports to international news media and is located in Rockefeller Center, New York City.Their online news site is in Japanese, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Korean, and English.
The agency employs over 1,000 journalists and photographers, and maintains news exchange agreements with over 70 international media outlets.Satoshi Ishikawa is the news agency's president.Kyodo News was formed by Furunu Inosuke, the president of the Domei News Agency, following the dissolution of Domei after World War II.Kyodo News is the only remaining news agency to transmit news via radiofax. It broadcasts complete newspapers in Japanese and English, often at 60 lines per minute instead of the more normal 120 because of the greater complexity of written Japanese.
A full day's news takes hours to transmit. Kyodo has a dedicated transmission to Pacific fishing fleets from Kagoshima Prefectural Fishery Radio, and a relay from 9VF, possibly still in the Netherlands. The frequencies formerly used by JJC radio outside Tokyo are now sent from an unknown location, using the same identification in Japanese as 9VF. They are still active and heard daily in 2017.Ma'an News Agency
Ma'an News Agency (MNA; Arabic: وكالة معا الإخبارية) is a large wire service created in 2005 in the Palestinian territories. It is part of the Ma'an Network, a non-governmental organization media network created in 2002 in the Palestinian territories among independent journalists throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It has partnerships with eight local television stations and twelve local radio stations. Ma'an News Agency publishes news 24 hours a day in Arabic, Hebrew and English, and claims to be one of the largest wire services in the Palestinian territories, with over three million visits per month. Ma'an News Agency also publishes feature stories, analysis and opinion articles. The agency's headquarters are based in Bethlehem and it has an office in Gaza.Norwegian News Agency
The Norwegian News Agency (Norwegian: Norsk Telegrambyrå; abbreviated NTB) is a Norwegian press agency and wire service that serves most of the largest Norwegian media outlets. The agency is located in Oslo and has bureaus in Brussels in Belgium and Tromsø in northern Norway. The photo agency Scanpix is a wholly owned subsidiary of NTB.Press Trust of India
The Press Trust of India Ltd., commonly known as PTI, is the largest news agency in India. It is headquartered in New Delhi and is a nonprofit cooperative among more than 500 Indian newspapers and has more than 1,000 full-time employees, as of 22 January 2016. It employs over 400 journalists and 500 part-time correspondents located in most of the district headquarters in the country. A few correspondents are based in major capitals and important business centres around the world. It took over the operations of the Associated Press of India from Reuters after India's independence in 1947. It provides news coverage and information of the region in both English and Hindi. Its corporate office is located at Sansad Marg, New Delhi and registered office in D N Road, Mumbai.RIA Novosti
RIA Novosti (Russian: РИА Новости), sometimes RIA (Russian: РИА) for short, was Russia's international news agency until 2013 and continues to be the name of a state-operated domestic Russian-language news agency. Operating under the purview of the Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, RIA Novosti is headquartered in Moscow and operated about 80 bureaus internationally. On 9 December 2013 President of Russia Vladimir Putin ordered RIA Novosti's liquidation and the creation of a Russian international news agency Rossiya Segodnya. Dmitry Kiselev, an anchorman of the Russia-1 channel was appointed to be the first president of the new information agency. RIA Novosti was scheduled to be closed down in 2014; starting in March 2014, staff were informed that they had the option of transferring their contracts to Rossiya Segodnya or accepting voluntary redundancy. On 10 November 2014, Rossiya Segodnya launched the Sputnik multimedia platform as the international replacement of RIA Novosti and Voice of Russia. Within Russia itself, however, Rossiya Segodnya continues to operate its Russian language news service under the name RIA Novosti with its ria.ru website.The agency published news and analysis of social-political, economic, scientific and financial subjects on the Internet and via e-mail in the main European languages, as well as in Persian, Japanese and Arabic. It had a correspondent network in the Russian Federation, CIS and over 40 non-CIS countries. Its clients include the presidential administration, Russian government, Federation Council, State Duma, leading ministries and government departments, administrations of Russian regions, representatives of Russian and foreign business communities, diplomatic missions, and public organizations.RIA Novosti was an award-winning news agency. The last editor-in-chief of RIA Novosti was Svetlana Mironyuk, the first woman appointed to the role in the agency's history. According to the organisation's Charter, enterprise's property was federally owned (because federal unitary enterprise) and was indivisible. According to the agency, it was partially government-subsidized (2.7–2.9 billion roubles in 2013), but maintained full editorial independence.Its Russian name was Federal State Unitary Enterprise Russian Agency of International Information «RIA Novosti» (Russian: Федеральное государственное унитарное предприятие Российское агентство международной информации «РИА Новости», Federal'noye Gosudarstvennoye Unitarnoye Predpyatye Rossiyskoye Agentsvo Mezhdunarodnoy Informatsii), FGUP RAMI «RIA Novosti» (Russian: ФГУП РАМИ «РИА Новости») for short. Its formal English name was Russian News & Information Agency "RIA Novosti". Early in 1990s it had the name state enterprise RIA «Novosti» (named after Soviet Press Agency «Novosti» and Information Agency «Novosti»). RIA means Russian Information Agency and Novosti means News in Russian. The common abbreviation in Russian is RIA.Reuters
Reuters () is an international news organization. It is a division of Thomson Reuters and has nearly 200 locations around the world. Until 2008, the Reuters news agency formed part of an independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data. Since the acquisition of Reuters Group by the Thomson Corporation in 2008, the Reuters news agency has been a part of Thomson Reuters, making up the media division. Reuters transmits news in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. It was established in 1851.Sputnik (news agency)
Sputnik (Russian pronunciation: [ˈsputnʲɪk]; formerly The Voice of Russia and RIA Novosti) is a news agency, news website platform and radio broadcast service established by the Russian government-owned news agency Rossiya Segodnya. Headquartered in Moscow, Sputnik has regional editorial offices in Washington, Cairo, Beijing, Jakarta, Singapore, London and Edinburgh. Sputnik focuses on global politics and economics and is geared towards a non-Russian audience.According to The New York Times Sputnik engages in deliberate disinformation, and has often been described as a Russian propaganda outlet. Sputnik employees run social media pages and blogs posing as citizens of various countries, and purchased paid advertisement to disseminate fake and misleading content according to CNN Business.Sputnik currently operates news websites, featuring reporting and commentary, in over 30 languages including English, Spanish, Polish, Serbian, and several others. The websites also house over 800 hours of radio broadcasting material each day and its newswire service runs around the clock.TASS
Russian News Agency TASS (Russian: Информационное агентство России ТАСС, tr. Informatsionnoye agentstvo Rossii TASS), abbr. TASS (Russian: ТАСС) is a major news agency in Russia, founded in 1904. TASS is the largest Russian news agency and one of the largest news agencies worldwide, along with Reuters, the Associated Press (AP) and Agence France-Presse (AFP).TASS is registered as a Federal State Unitary Enterprise, owned by the Government of Russia. Headquartered in Moscow, TASS has 70 offices in Russia and in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), as well as 68 bureaus around the world.
The TASS name comes from the former Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (Russian: Телеграфное агентство Советского Союза, Tyelyegrafnoye agyentstvo Sovyetskovo Soyuza) which was the central agency for news collection and distribution for all Soviet newspapers, radio and television stations. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the agency was renamed "Information Telegraph Agency of Russia" (ITAR-TASS) in 1992, but regained the simpler TASS name in 2014.The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press (CP; French: La Presse Canadienne [PC]) is a national news agency headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was established in 1917 as a vehicle to permit Canadian newspapers of the day to exchange their news and information. For most of its history, The Canadian Press has been a private, not-for-profit cooperative, owned and operated by its member newspapers. In mid-2010, however, it announced plans to become a for-profit business owned by three media companies once certain conditions are met.Over the years, The Canadian Press and its affiliates have adapted to reflect changes in the media industry, technological change and the growing appetite for rapid news updates. It currently offers a wide variety of text, audio, photographic, video and graphic content to websites, radio, television, and commercial clients in addition to newspapers and its long-standing ally, The Associated Press (AP), a global news service based in the United States.Xinhua News Agency
Xinhua News Agency (English pronunciation: ) or New China News Agency is the official state-run press agency of the People's Republic of China. Xinhua is the biggest and most influential media organization in China, as well as the largest news agency in the world in terms of correspondents worldwide. Xinhua is a ministry-level institution subordinate to the Chinese central government, and is the highest ranking state media organ in the country alongside the People's Daily. Its president is a member of the Central Committee of China's Communist Party.
Xinhua operates more than 170 foreign bureaux worldwide, and maintains 31 bureaux in China—one for each province, autonomous region and directly-administered municipality plus a military bureau. Xinhua is the sole channel for the distribution of important news related to the Communist Party and Chinese central government, and its headquarters in Beijing are strategically located within close proximity to Zhongnanhai, which houses the headquarters of the Communist Party of China, the State Council and the office of the President of the People's Republic of China.
Xinhua is a publisher as well as a news agency—it owns more than 20 newspapers and a dozen magazines, and it publishes in several languages, besides Chinese, including English, German, Spanish, French, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic, Japanese and Korean, also publishing in cyberspace.Yonhap
Yonhap News Agency (Korean: 주식회사 연합뉴스) is a South Korean news agency. It is a funded company, based in Seoul, South Korea. Yonhap provides news articles, pictures and other information to newspapers, TV networks and other media in South Korea.