News agency

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Reuters, Bonn 1988 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F079071-0007, Bonn, Nachrichtenagentur Reuters.jpg
Reuters, Bonn 1988

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, four global news agencies, Agence France-Presse (AFP), Associated Press (AP), Reuters and United Press International (UPI) have offices in most countries of the world, cover all areas of information, and provide the majority of international news printed by the world's newspapers. [1] [2] All four 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. [3] 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. [3]

[ obsolete source ]

Newspaper syndicates generally sell their material to one client in each territory only, while news agencies distribute news articles to all interested parties.


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). [4] 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. [5]

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). [6] 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. [7] 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. [8]

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. [9]

By the 1980s, the four main news agencies, AFP, AP, UPI and Reuters, provided over 90% of foreign news printed by newspapers around the world. [1]

Commercial services

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 (TASS), and several other countries have government-funded news agencies which also use information from other agencies as well. [10]

Commercial newswire services charge businesses to distribute their news (e.g., Business Wire, Digpu News Network, GlobeNewswire, PR Newswire, PR Web, and Cision).

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.

List of major news agencies

Adnkronos Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
America Pioneer News Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Agence France-Presse AFPFlag of France.svg  France
Agência Brasil ABRFlag of Brazil.svg  Brazil
Agenparl Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
Agencia EFE EFEFlag of Spain.svg  Spain
Agenția de Presă RADOR (National Radio)RadorFlag of Romania.svg  Romania
Agenția Română de Presă AGERPRESFlag of Romania.svg  Romania
Agenzia Giornalistica Italia AGIFlag of Italy.svg  Italy
Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata ANSAFlag of Italy.svg  Italy
AKIpress News Agency Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan
Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau ANPFlag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
Algeria Press Service APSFlag of Algeria.svg  Algeria
All Headline News AHNFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Anadolu Agency AAFlag of Turkey.svg  Turkey
Antara Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia
Armenpress Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia
Asian News International ANIFlag of India.svg  India
Associated Press APFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Associated Press Service APSFlag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan
Associated Press of Pakistan APPFlag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan
Athens News Agency-Macedonian Press Agency AMNAFlag of Greece.svg  Greece
Australian Associated Press AAPFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Austria Presse Agentur APAFlag of Austria.svg  Austria
Azerbaijan Press Agency APAFlag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan State Telegraph Agency AzerTAcFlag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan
Bahrain News Agency BNAFlag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain
Bakhtar News Agency Flag of Afghanistan.svg  Afghanistan
Baltic News Service BNSFlag of Estonia.svg  Estonia
Bangladesh Sangbad Shangstha BSSFlag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh
Belga BELGAFlag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium
Bhartiya Broadcast Flag of India.svg  India
Bloomberg News Flag of the United States.svg  United States
BNO News Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
Bulgarian Telegraph Agency BTAFlag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria
Canadian Press CPFlag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
CCTV+ Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Central News Agency Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Taiwan
China News Service CNSFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Croatian News Agency Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia
Czech News Agency CTKFlag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic
Deutsche Presse-Agentur DPAFlag of Germany.svg  Germany
Dispatch News Desk DNDFlag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan
Digpu News Network DNNFlag of India.svg  India
Dow Jones Newswires Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Emirates News Agency WAMFlag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates
European News Agency Belgium ENABFlag of Europe.svg  Europe
European Pressphoto Agency EPAFlag of Europe.svg  Europe
Fars News Agency FNAFlag of Iran.svg  Iran
Fourth Estate 4EFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency ICANAFlag of Iran.svg  Iran
Islamic Republic News Agency IRNAFlag of Iran.svg  Iran
Iranian Students' News Agency ISNAFlag of Iran.svg  Iran
Indo-Asian News Service IANSFlag of India.svg  India
Interfax Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
Inter Press Service IPSFlag of Italy.svg  Italy
Jewish Telegraphic Agency Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Jiji Press Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Kenya News Agency KNAFlag of Kenya.svg  Kenya
Korean Central News Agency KCNAFlag of North Korea.svg  North Korea
Kyodo News Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Lankapuvath Flag of Sri Lanka.svg  Sri Lanka
Lao News Agency KPLFlag of Laos.svg  Laos
Lusa News Agency LUSAFlag of Portugal.svg  Portugal
Magyar Távirati Iroda MTIFlag of Hungary.svg  Hungary
Malaysian National News Agency BERNAMAFlag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia
Namibia Press Agency NAMPAFlag of Namibia.svg  Namibia
National Iraqi News Agency NINAFlag of Iraq.svg  Iraq
New Zealand Press Association NZPAFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
News Agency of Nigeria NANFlag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria
Norsk Telegrambyrå NTBFlag of Norway.svg  Norway
Notimex Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
NurPhoto Agency Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
Pacnews Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Pakistan Press International PPIFlag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan
PanARMENIAN.Net Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia
Philippine News Agency PNAFlag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines
Polska Agencja Prasowa PAPFlag of Poland.svg  Poland
Press Association PAFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Pressclub Information Agency PIAFlag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria
Press Trust of India PTIFlag of India.svg  India
Qatar News Agency QNAFlag of Qatar.svg  Qatar
Reuters Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Ritzaus Bureau RitzauFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark
Rossiya Segodnya Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
Ruptly Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
Russian News Agency TASS TASSFlag of Russia.svg  Russia
Saba News Agency or Yemen News Agency SABAFlag of Yemen.svg  Yemen
Saudi Press Agency SPAFlag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia
Schweizerische Depeschenagentur SDAFlag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland
Sipa USA Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Samachar Bharti SBFlag of India.svg  India
Slovenian Press Agency STAFlag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia
Suomen Tietotoimisto STTFlag of Finland.svg  Finland
Syrian Arab News Agency SANAFlag of Syria.svg  Syria
Tahitipresse ATPFlag of French Polynesia.svg  French Polynesia
Tanjug Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia
Telenoticiosa Americana TELAMFlag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå TTFlag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
Turkmenistan State News Agency TDHFlag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan
UNI Flag of India.svg  India
Ukrainian Independent Information Agency UNIANFlag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine
United News of Bangladesh UNBFlag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh
United Press International UPIFlag of the United States.svg  United States
World Entertainment News Network WENNFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Vietnam News Agency Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam
Via News Agency VIANEWSFlag of Portugal.svg  Portugal
Xinhua News Agency XINHUAFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Yonhap News Agency YONHAPFlag of South Korea.svg  South Korea
ZUMA Press Flag of the United States.svg  United States

List of commercial newswire services

See also

Related Research Articles

United Press International International news agency

United Press International (UPI) is an 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.

Xinhua News Agency Official press agency of the Peoples Republic of China

Xinhua News Agency 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 State Council 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 the Chinese Communist Party.

Agence France-Presse International news agency headquartered in Paris

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is an international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

Australian Associated Press

Australian Associated Press (AAP) is an Australian news agency. It was established by Keith Murdoch in 1935.

The Borneo Bulletin is a daily English-language newspaper in Brunei. It is published by Brunei Press, which also publishes a Malay-language daily, Media Permata. The Bulletin circulates around 20,000 copies on weekdays and 25,000 copies on Saturday and Sunday, including the New Straits Times from Malaysia, The Straits Times from Singapore and The New York Times International Edition. The Borneo Bulletin is the main source of information on local, regional and foreign affairs, as well as business news. Detailed stock market reports of the Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and regional stock exchanges are carried for the benefit of Bruneian businessmen and investors. In addition to the more serious news, the newspaper carries sports, lifestyle and leisure pages.

Charles-Louis Havas

Charles-Louis Havas was a French writer, translator, and founder of the first news agency Agence Havas.

Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata

The Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata is the leading wire service in Italy. ANSA is a not-for-profit cooperative, whose members and owners are 36 leading news organizations in Italy. Its mission is the distribution of fair and objective news reporting.

Bernhard Wolff

Bernhard Wolff was a German media mogul. He was editor of the Vossische Zeitung, founder of the National Zeitung (1848–1938), and founder of Wolffs Telegraphisches Bureau (1849–1934), one of the first press agencies in Europe and one of the three great European telegraph monopolies until the World War II-era, the other two being the English Reuters and the French Havas. The second son of a Jewish banker, Wolff lived and died in Berlin. His grave is preserved in the Jewish cemetery on Schönhauser Allee in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood.

European Pressphoto Agency International news photo agency

European Pressphoto Agency B.V. is an international news photo agency.

News Communication of selected information on current events

News is information about current events. This may be provided through many different media: word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, electronic communication, or through the testimony of observers and witnesses to events.

The News Media Coalition (NMC) is a group of international news agencies and publications that is focused on preserving freedom of the press. It consists of over fifty news organizations, including founder members

APO Group

Founded in 2007, APO Group is a media relations' consulting firm and press release distribution service in Africa and the Middle East. The company assists private and public organizations in sharpening their reputation and increasing their brand equity in target countries.

World news or international news or even foreign coverage is the news media jargon for news from abroad, about a country or a global subject. For journalism, it is a branch that deals with news either sent by foreign correspondents or news agencies, or – more recently – information that is gathered or researched through distance communication technologies, such as telephone, satellite TV or the internet.

Agenzia Stefani was the leading press agency in Italy from the mid-19th century until the end of World War II. It was founded by Guglielmo Stefani on 26 January 1853 in Turin, and was closed on 29 April 1945 in Milan.

Guglielmo Stefani was an Italian journalist and founder of the influential press agency Agenzia Stefani.

MINDS International is an association of news agencies that collaborate in digital media business. MINDS was founded in 2004 by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers and five news agencies, with funding from the European Union. Currently the MINDS network consists of more than twenty member agencies from around the world.

Rastriya Samachar Samiti

The Rastriya Samachar Samiti, having a nationwide network, is the largest and longest serving news agency in Nepal. It was established in 1961 under the Rastriya Samachar Samiti Act, 2019 BS, merging two privately owned news agencies with a view to facilitating newspapers and broadcast media. With the development of news media in Nepal, subscribers of RSS have reached more than 100 newspapers, radio, online media and television. A pool of permanent and stringer reporters scattered throughout the country contributes to the news service and photo file every day.

The Telegraphen-Korrespondenz Bureau, also referred to by many other names was a news agency founded in the Austrian Empire in 1849 by Joseph Tuvora (1820–1872) under the auspices of the Austrian government. It is a direct predecessor of the current Austria Press Agency.


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  3. 1 2 Jonathan Fenby, The International News Services (1986) p. 25
  4. Jonathan Fenby, The International News Services (1986).
  5. Theodore Zeldin, France: 1848–1945 (1977) 2: 538–539
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  9. « Statistiques d’entreprises des industries culturelles », par Valérie Deroin, Secrétariat général Délégation au développement et aux affaires internationales au sein du Département des études, de la prospective et des statistiques [ permanent dead link ]
  10. Boyd-Barrett, Oliver, ed. (2010). News Agencies in the Turbulent Era of the Internet . Generalitat de Catalunya. ISBN   978-84-393-8303-1

Further reading