|Type||Private organization with special status, operating under commercial rules|
|Founder||Charles-Louis Havas (as Havas)|
|Charles-Louis Havas, Jean Marin, Henri Pigeat, Pierre Louette, Emmanuel Hoog|
|Products||Text, photo, video, audio, and graphics|
|Revenue||€321.9 million (2022) 309.5 millions euros (2021)|
Number of employees
|2 400 (2023)|
Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.
With 2,400 employees of 100 nationalities, AFP has an editorial presence in 260 cities across 151 countries.Its main regional headquarters are based in Nicosia, Montevideo, Hong Kong and Washington, D.C. AFP publishes stories, videos, photos and graphics in French, English, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, and German. Two-thirds of its turnover comes from its own commercial activities, with the remaining one-third being provided by the French government (amounting to 113.3 million euros in 2022) as compensation for carrying out its mission of general interest.
Agence France-Presse has its origins in the Agence Havas, founded in 1835 in Paris by Charles-Louis Havas, making it the world's oldest news service.The agency pioneered the collection and dissemination of news as a commodity, and had established itself as a fully global concern by the late 19th century. Two Havas employees, Paul Julius Reuter and Bernhard Wolff, set up their own news agencies in London and Berlin respectively.
In 1940, when German forces occupied France during World War II, the news agency was taken over by the authorities and renamed "Office français d'information" (French Information Office); only the private advertising company retained the name Havas.On 20 August 1944, as Allied forces moved on Paris, a group of journalists in the French Resistance seized the offices of the FIO and issued the first news dispatch from the liberated city under the name of Agence France-Presse.
Established as a state enterprise, AFP devoted the post-war years to developing its network of international correspondents. One of them was the first Western journalist to report the death of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin on 6 March 1953.AFP was keen to shake off its semi-official status, and on 10 January 1957, the French Parliament passed a law establishing its independence. Since that date, the proportion of the agency's revenues generated by subscriptions from government departments has steadily declined. Such subscriptions represented 115 million euros in 2011.
In 1982, the agency began to decentralize its editorial decision-making by setting up the first of its five autonomous regional centres, in Hong Kong, then a British dependent territory. Each region has its own budget, administrative director and chief editor. In September 2007, the AFP Foundation was launched to promote higher standards of journalism worldwide.
The Mitrokhin Archive identified six agents and two confidential KGB contacts inside Agence France-Presse who were used in Soviet operations in France.
In 1991, AFP set up a joint venture with Extel to create a financial news service, AFX News.It was sold in 2006 to Thomson Financial.
In October 2008, the Government of France announced moves to change AFP's status, including the involvement of outside investors. On 27 November of that year, the main trade unions represented in the company's home base of France – the CGT, Force Ouvrière, Syndicat national des journalistes,Union syndicale des journalistes CFDT and SUD, launched an online petition to oppose what they saw as an attempt to privatise the agency.
On 10 December 2009, the French Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand announced that he was setting up a Committee of Experts under former AFP CEO Henri Pigeat to study plans for the agency's future status.On February 24, 2010, Pierre Louette unexpectedly announced his intention to resign as CEO by the end of March, and move to a job with France Télécom.
In November 2013, AFP and Getty Images were ordered to pay $1.2 million compensation to freelance photojournalist Daniel Morel for using his images posted on Twitter related to the 2010 Haiti earthquake without his permission, in violation of copyright and Twitter's terms of service.
AFP's statute was changed in 2015 to bring it into line with European legislation through Law No. 2015-433 of 17 April 2015.The State's financing of AFP was thus modified and was structured into two components:
The current CEO and chairman is Fabrice Fries and the Global News Director is Phil Chetwynd.
AFP was voted "Best News Agency" in 2021 and 2020 by the AIB (Association of International Broadcasters).
Two photographers won the Pulitzer Prize for an AFP photo: Massoud Hossaini for his photo of a young girl in tears after a suicide bombing in Kaboul (1st place in the category Breaking News), and Javier Manzano in 2013 for his photo of two Syrian rebel soldiers in a room lit by rays of sunlight shining through bullet holes in the wall (1st place in the category Photo Magazine).
The World Press photo of the year has been awarded on three occasions to AFP photographers: Hocine Zaourar in 1998 for his photo of a woman in tears in front of a hospital in Algiers, Ronaldo Schemidt in 2018 for his photo of a man running while on fire during a series of riots in Caracas, and Yasuyoshi Chiba in 2020 for his photo of young protesters in Khartoum.
The Albert Londres Prize has been awarded to AFP journalists on five occasions: Patrick Meney in 1983, Sammy Ketz in 1988, AFP's Moscow office in 1995, Michel Moutot in 1999, and Emmanuel Duparcq in 2011.
Five AFP collaborators have won the Rory Peck Prize: Pacôme Pabandji in 2014, Zein Al-Rifai in 2015, Will Vassilopoulos in 2016, Luis Sequeira in 2019, and Solan Kolli in 2021.
The Visa d’Or (in the category News) has been awarded on four occasions to AFP photographers (Georges Gobet in 2003, Bülent Kilic in 2015, Aris Messinis in 2016, Guillermo Arias in 2019), as well as Sameer Al-Doumy who won the Visa d’Or Humanitaire in 2022.
Furthermore, AFP was distinguished by the "Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards" in 2021 for photos taken by Josh Edelson and in 2022 (in the category "Video – Short Feature").
In 1983, the Albert Londres Prize was awarded to Patrick Meney,who wrote a series of articles about 600 French people forcibly detained in the Gulag after World War II. In 1984, his book Les Mains coupées de la Taïga was published.
In 1988, Sammy Ketz received the next Albert Londres Prize.Together with his colleague from the liberation movement, Serge Chalandon, he covered the events of the Libyan Civil War for 6 years.
On October 17, 2014, AFP international director Michèle Léridon received the Investigation and Reporting Award at the International Congress of Journalism and Information. Michèle Léridon sat the author of the article "Covering ISIS", which was posted on the agency's blog.
In December 2014, Bülent Kiliç was named Time magazine Photojournalist of the Year for his coverage of events in the Middle East and Europe.The photographer received the same acknowledgement from The Guardian newspaper.
In 1988, the agency has its own department of infographics – AFP Graphics, which today creates about 70 graphics per day. According to the information provided by the agency's website, thematically infographics have the following distribution: 31% – politics, 27% – economics, 18% – sports, 12% – society, 10% – general news, 2% – culture and media. Infographics are available in 6 languages: French, English, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish and German.
In 2014, AFP launches a content platform that is available on all electronic media: computers, tablets and mobile phones. AFP Forum is divided into several sections, including homepage, text materials, photos, videos and graphics. News can be filtered by headings (news, business, sports, science), hashtags and by geographical regions (Africa, North America, Europe, etc.). All information is available in 6 languages: French, English, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Traditional and Simplified Chinese. In total, there are about 1250 illustrated materials per day, available in XML, HTML, TXT, NewsML or WML formats.
AFP Video services
In July 2001, the agency announced the launch of AFP Video services, a video graphics division. Already in 2007, the agency launches AFPTV – a project in which all news from 2011 appear in HD video format. As of 2015, 200 videos in 7 languages appear on the site every day.
In 2008, Mobile services appeared – a separate digital platform for mobile phones. News in Mobile services is available in 6 languages (French, English, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, German) and is divided into 22 thematic blocks: world news, world sports, football, top pages, Middle East, US news, Asia and Pacific news region, photos, videos, UK news, Africa, business, sports in the US, South African news, science, cricket, US politics, culture, Canada, lifestyle, technology and media, more. In addition to the section by headings, the news is divided into 100 categories (crime, energy, military conflicts, human rights, etc.), 43 countries, 70 cities and 100 hashtags. There is also a general search.
AFP operates under a 1957 law as a commercial business independent of the French government. AFP is administered by a CEO and a board comprising 15 members:
The mission of AFP is defined in its statute:
The board elects the CEO for a renewable term of three years. AFP also has a council charged with ensuring that the agency operates according to its statutes, which mandate absolute independence and neutrality. Editorially, AFP is governed by a network of senior journalists.
The primary client of AFP is the French government, which purchases subscriptions for its various services. In practice, those subscriptions are an indirect subsidy to AFP. The statutes of the agency prohibit direct government subsidies.
Based in Paris, AFP covers 151 countries, with 201 offices, 50 local correspondents and five regional centres:
Washington (North America) Hong Kong (Asia-Pacific) Montevideo (Latin America) Nicosia (Middle East) Paris (Europe and Africa)
AFP says it employs 2,400 people of 100 nationalities, including 1,700 journalists. It provides information in six languages (French, English, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Arabic), twenty-four hours a day.
Notable investments include:
United Press International (UPI) is an American international news agency whose newswires, photo, news film, and audio services provided news material to thousands of newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations for most of the 20th century. At its peak, it had more than 6,000 media subscribers. Since the first of several sales and staff cutbacks in 1982, and the 1999 sale of its broadcast client list to its main U.S. rival, the Associated Press, UPI has concentrated on smaller information-market niches.
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. News agencies are known for their press releases. A news agency may also be referred to as a wire service, newswire, or news service.
Photojournalism is journalism that uses images to tell a news story. It usually only refers to still images, but can also refer to video used in broadcast journalism. Photojournalism is distinguished from other close branches of photography by having a rigid ethical framework which demands an honest but impartial approach that tells a story in strictly journalistic terms. Photojournalists contribute to the news media, and help communities connect with one other. They must be well-informed and knowledgeable, and are able to deliver news in a creative manner that is both informative and entertaining.
Agencia EFE, S.A. is a Spanish international news agency, the major Spanish-language multimedia news agency 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 Francoist faction's Interior Minister.
The annual Walkley Awards are presented in Australia to recognise and reward excellence in journalism. They cover all media including print, television, documentary, radio, photographic and online media. The Gold Walkley is the highest prize and is chosen from all category winners. In 2023, Not all awards were open to male journalists. The awards are under the administration of the Walkley Foundation for Journalism.
dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH is a German news agency founded in 1949. Based in Hamburg, it has grown to be a major worldwide operation serving print media, radio, television, online, mobile phones, and national news agencies. News is available in seven languages, among them German, English, Spanish and Arabic.
Many representatives of the news media reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina became directly involved in the unfolding events, instead of simply reporting. Due to the loss of most means of communication, such as land-based and cellular telephone systems, field reporters in many cases became conduits for information between victims and authorities.
Charles-Louis Havas was a French writer, translator, and founder of the first news agency Agence Havas.
EPA Images | European Pressphoto Agency B.V. is an international news photo agency.
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Carol Guzy is an American news photographer. Guzy worked as a staff photographer for the Miami Herald from 1980 to 1988 and The Washington Post from 1988 to 2014. As of April 2022, Guzy is a contract photographer for ZUMA Press.
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Massoud Hossaini is an Afghan-born photojournalist. He works for Agence France-Presse. Hossaini was the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography and the winner of World Press Photo, along with several other world photography awards, he won William Randolph Hearst Award for Excellence in Professional Journalism (2021), from San Jose State University's School of Journalism.
Javier Manzano is a Mexican American filmmaker and photojournalist best known for his coverage of Latin America and the Middle East.
Jean Marin, real name Yves Morvan was a French journalist and resistant. He was the president of Agence France-Presse from 1957 to 1975.
The Office français d'information was the press agency controlled by the Vichy regime during the German occupation.
Fabrice Fries is a French business executive, currently chairman and chief executive officer of Agence France-Presse.
Felipe Dana is a Pulitzer Prize-winning Brazilian photojournalist for the Associated Press (AP).
Bülent Kılıç is a Turkish photojournalist currently employed by the Agence France-Press (AFP) as the photo manager for Turkey.