News agency

  (Redirected from Wire service)

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.

Reuters, Bonn 1988

Although there are many news agencies around the world, four global news agencies, Agence France-Presse (AFP), Associated Press (AP), Reuters and EFE have offices in most countries of the world and cover all areas of information. 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. 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.[1]

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).[2] 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.[3]

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).[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

Commercial servicesEdit

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.[8]

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 agenciesEdit

Name Abbrev. Country
Adnkronos ITA
America Pioneer News USA
Agence France-Presse AFP FRA
Agência Brasil ABR BRA
Agenparl ITA
Agenția de Presă RADOR (National Radio) Rador ROU
Agenția Română de Presă AGERPRES ROU
Agenzia Giornalistica Italia AGI ITA
Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata ANSA ITA
AKIpress News Agency KGZ
Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau ANP NLD
Algeria Press Service APS DZA
All Headline News AHN USA
Anadolu Agency AA TUR
Antara IDN
Armenpress ARM
Asian News International ANI IND
Associated Press AP USA
Associated Press Service APS PAK
Associated Press of Pakistan APP PAK
Athens News Agency-Macedonian Press Agency AMNA GRE
Australian Associated Press AAP AUS
Austria Presse Agentur APA AUT
Azerbaijan Press Agency APA AZE
Azerbaijan State Telegraph Agency AzerTAc AZE
Bahrain News Agency BNA BHR
Bakhtar News Agency AFG
Baltic News Service BNS EST, LVA and LTU
Bangladesh Sangbad Shangstha BSS BGD
Bhartiya Broadcast IND
Bloomberg News USA
Bulgarian Telegraph Agency BTA BGR
Canadian Press CP CAN
Central News Agency TWN
China News Service CNS CHN
Croatian News Agency CRO
Czech News Agency CTK CZE
Deutsche Presse-Agentur DPA DEU
Dispatch News Desk DND PAK
Dow Jones Newswires USA
Emirates News Agency WAM UAE
European News Agency Belgium ENAB Europe
European Pressphoto Agency EPA Europe
Fars News Agency FNA ARN
Fourth Estate 4E USA
Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency ICANA IRN
Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA IRN
Iranian Students' News Agency ISNA IRN
Indo-Asian News Service IANS IND
Interfax RUS
Inter Press Service IPS ITA
Jewish Telegraphic Agency USA
Jiji Press JPN
Kenya News Agency KNA KEN
Korean Central News Agency KCNA DPRK
Kyodo News JPN
Lankapuvath SRI
Lao News Agency KPL LAO
Lusa News Agency LUSA PRT
Magyar Távirati Iroda MTI HUN
Malaysian National News Agency BERNAMA MYS
Namibia Press Agency NAMPA NAM
National Iraqi News Agency NINA IRQ
New Zealand Press Association NZPA NZL
News Agency of Nigeria NAN NGA
Norsk Telegrambyrå NTB NOR
Notimex MEX
NurPhoto Agency ITA
Pacnews NZL
Pakistan Press International PPI PAK
Philippine News Agency PNA PHL
Polska Agencja Prasowa PAP POL
Press Association PA UK
Pressclub Information Agency PIA BGR
Press Trust of India PTI IND
Qatar News Agency QNA QAT
Reuters UK
Ritzaus Bureau Ritzau DNK
Rossiya Segodnya RUS
Ruptly RUS
Russian News Agency TASS TASS RUS
Saba News Agency or Yemen News Agency SABA YEM
Saudi Press Agency SPA KSA
Schweizerische Depeschenagentur SDA SUI
Samachar Bharti SB IND
Slovenian Press Agency STA SVN
Suomen Tietotoimisto STT FIN
Syrian Arab News Agency SANA SYR
Tahitipresse ATP PYF
Tanjug SRB
Telenoticiosa Americana TELAM ARG
Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå TT SWE
Turkmenistan State News Agency TDH TKM
Ukrainian Independent Information Agency UNIAN UKR
United News of Bangladesh UNB BGD
United Press International UPI USA
World Entertainment News Network WENN UK
Vietnam News Agency VIE
Via News Agency VIANEWS PRT
Xinhua News Agency XINHUA CHN
Yonhap News Agency YONHAP KOR

List of commercial newswire servicesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Jonathan Fenby, The International News Services (1986) p. 25
  2. ^ Jonathan Fenby, The International News Services (1986).
  3. ^ Theodore Zeldin, France: 1848–1945 (1977) 2: 538–539
  4. ^ Broderick, James F.; Darren W. Miller (2007). Consider the source: A Critical Guide to 100 Prominent News and Information Sites on the Web. Information Today, Inc. pp. 1. ISBN 0-910965-77-3.
  5. ^ "Baroness Reuter, last link to news dynasty, dies", Reuters, January 25, 2009. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  6. ^ "Ch 7 Telegraph" Archived 2013-08-01 at the Wayback Machine, Revolutions in Communication: Media history from Gutenberg to the digital age (2010). Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  7. ^ « 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 [1][permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Boyd-Barrett, Oliver, ed. (2010). News Agencies in the Turbulent Era of the Internet. Generalitat de Catalunya. ISBN 978-84-393-8303-1

Further readingEdit

  • Fenby, Jonathan. The International News Services (1986)
  • Gramling, Oliver. AP: The Story of News (1940)
  • Kenny, Peter. "News agencies as content providers and purveyors of news: A mediahistoriographical study on the development and diversity of wire services" (MPhil Diss. University of Stellenbosch, 2009) online, with a detailed bibliography pp. 171–200
  • Morris, Joel Alex. The Deadline Every Minute: The Story of the United Press (1957)
  • Paterson, Chris A., and Annabelle Sreberny, eds. International news in the 21st Century (University of Luton Press, 2004)
  • Putnis, P. "Reuters in Australia: the supply and exchange of news, 1859–1877" Media History (2004). 10#2 pp: 67–88.
  • Read, D. The power of news: the history of Reuters (Oxford UP, 1992).
  • Schwarzlose, Richard Allen. The American wire services: a study of their development as a social institution (1979)
  • Stephens, M. A history of news (3rd ed. Oxford UP, 2007).
  • Sterling, C. H. "News agencies" in Encyclopedia of international media and communications (2003) 3: 235–246.
  • Storey, Graham. Reuter's Century (1951)
  • Xin, X. "A developing market in news: Xinhua News Agency and Chinese newspapers" Media, Culture & Society (2006) 28#1 pp: 45–66.

External linksEdit