News agency

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A news agency is an organization of journalists established to supply news reports to news organizations: newspapers, magazines, and radio and television broadcasters. Such an agency may also be referred to as a wire service, newswire or news service.



The oldest news agency is Agence France-Presse (AFP).[1] It was founded in 1835 by a Parisian translator and advertising agent, Charles-Louis Havas as Agence Havas. Two of his employees, Paul Julius Reuter and Bernhard Wolff, later set up rival news agencies in London and Berlin respectively. In 1853, in Turin, Guglielmo Stefani founded the Agenzia Stefani, that became the most important agency in the Kingdom of Italy, and took international relevance with Manlio Morgagni.

In order to reduce overhead 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. Press Association, Thomson Reuters, AHN). 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, Marketwire, PR Newswire, and ABN Newswire). Governments may also control news agencies: China (Xinhua), Canada, Russia (ITAR-TASS) and other countries also have government-funded news agencies which also use information from other agencies well.[2]

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