Definitions

news-agency

news agency

or news service or wire service

Organization that gathers, writes, and distributes news to newspapers, periodicals, radio and television broadcasters, government agencies, and other users. It does not publish news itself but supplies news to subscribers, who, by sharing costs, obtain services they could not otherwise afford. All the mass media depend on agencies for the bulk of the news they carry. Some agencies focus on special subjects or on a local area or nation. Many news agencies are cooperatives, with members providing news from their area to a pool for general use. The largest news agencies are United Press International, Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse.

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A news agency is an organization of journalists established to supply news reports to organizations in the news trade: newspapers, magazines, and radio and television broadcasters. These are known as wire services or news services.

History

The oldest news agency is Agence France-Presse (AFP). It was founded in 1835 by a Parisian translator and advertising agent, Charles-Louis Havas as Agence Havas. Two of his employees, Julius Reuter and Bernhard Wolff, later set up rival news agencies in London and Berlin respectively. In order to reduce overheads and develop the lucrative advertising side of the business, Havas’s sons, who had succeeded him in 1852, signed agreements with Reuter and Wolff, giving each news agency an exclusive reporting zone in different parts of Europe.

Commercial services

News agencies can be corporations that sell news (e.g. Thomson Reuters, UPI). Other agencies work cooperatively with large media companies, generating their news centrally and sharing local news stories the major news agencies may chose to pick up and redistribute (i.e. AP, Agence France-Presse (AFP), MYOP). Commercial newswire services charge businesses to distribute their news (e.g. Business Wire, the Hugin Group, Market Wire, PR Newswire, and ABN Newswire). Governments may also control news agencies: China (Xinhua), Britain, Canada, Russia (ITAR-TASS) and other countries also have government-funded news agencies which also use information from other agencies 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.

Internet-based alternative news agencies as a component of the larger alternative media emphasizes a "non-corporate view" that is independent of the pressures of corporate media, business media and government-generated news and releases.

Major news agencies

Market effects

Many publicly traded companies solicit business analysis firms to produce favourable reports and then submit these through wire services. These stories often form the basis for public news about a company and may affect stock performance.

References and notes

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