News agencies are the oldest forms of media to transmit information electronically. Three European news agencies- Havas in France, Wolf in Germany and Reuters in the UK, became first agencies to have claimed global reach.
A news agency is an organisation of journalists established to supplies news to its subscribers around a nation or from different nation of the world to various other organisations such as newspapers, periodicals, radio and television broadcasters, govt. agencies. The major news agencies generally prepare hard news stories for the first page of newspapers.
Types of news agencies
- Transnational/world news agencies
- The Continental/Regional News agencies
- The National News Agencies
1. Transnational/world news agencies
Transnational news agencies operations are on a world wide scale. They maintain correspondents or reporters in almost all the major cities around the world. Examples- Associated Press (AP) in United States, United Press International (UPI) in US, Reuters in Britain, Agence France Press (AFP) in France, TASS in Russia.
2. The Continental/Regional News agencies
- It operates within their continents or regions.
- They may have correspondents and subscribers in other countries of the world, but their service and operations are not spread to every part of the globe.
- These news agencies are not as rich as the transnational or world news agencies.
3. The National News Agencies
- Almost, every country in the world has one form of news agency.
- It is worth noticing that several national agencies because of their global reach do not fall under this category.
- National news service only see serve their individual countries while the AP, UPI, Reuters and AFP serve the world.
Examples- News agency of Nigeria (NAN) owned by Nigerian government, Ghana News Agency (GNA) owned by the Ghanaian government, Iraqi news agency (INA) owned by Iraqi government, Middle East News Agency (MENA) owned by the Egyptian government.
International News Agencies
- Established in 1851.
- Country- Britain
- An international news agency.
- A division of Thomson Reuters which is a Canadian multinational mass media and Information firm.
- Named after its founder Paul Julius Reuters.
- Transmit news in French, English, Arabic, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese
Note– Paul Julius Reuter was born in Germany had a Jewish Parentage, but he converted to Christianity after he moved to London in 1845.
Associated Press (AP)
- Established in 1846.
- Country- United States
- The foundation upon which the Associated Press (AP) was to be built, was laid in 1848, when six New York City newspaper formed the Harbour News Association in order to share the Cost of collecting news by means of “news boats” which met incoming ships from Europe.
- Members are U.S newspapers and broadcasters.
- AP has earned 53 Pulitzer Prize.
- It earned a 2019 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for coverage of the civil war in Yemen.
Agence ‘France Presse’ (AFP)
- Established in 1835.
- Country- France
- Founder- Charles Louis Havas
- The French newspapers control the agency by having the maximum representation in its board of directors.
- Two Havas employees, Paul Julius Reuter and Bernhard Wolff setup their own news agencies in London and Berlin respectively.
United Press International (UPI)
- Founded- 1907 (as united press association)
- 1958 (as united press international)
- Country- United States
- In 2000, UPI was purchased by News world communications, an international news media.
International press service (IPS)
- Founded in 1964.
- Founded as a non-profit international cooperative of Journalists.
- Headquarter- Rome, Italy.
- Founders- Roberts Savio (Italian Journalist).
- In 1994, IPS changed its legal status to that of a ‘public-benefit organisation’ for development cooperation.
Pan Afican News Agency (PANA)
- Founded in 1979.
- Headquarter- Dakar, Senegal
- Founded by the organisation of African Unity and re launched by UNESCO in 1993.
- PANA Press works in collaboration with UNESCO.
Organisations of Asia Pacific News Agencies (OANA)
- Formed in 1961.
- Sponsored by UNESCO.
- It is an association of news agencies from UNESCO member states in the Asia Pacific Region.
- Nine Asian news agencies signed on the dotted line to create OANA.
- UNESCO initiated many other regional news exchanges like the Central African Agencies Development Project (CANAD), The Pan African News Agencies (PANA), The Caribbean News Agencies (CAN).
Non-aligned news Agencies Pool (NANAP)
- Formed in 1976.
- A Corporation system among news agencies of Non-Aligned Countries.
- The agency lasted only until mid 1990s.
- This Pool exchanged news in four languages French, English, Spanish and Arabic.
News Agencies in India
After independence, government of India took various initiatives for the growth of print media. Encouraged by government various newspapers joined together to form a trust and then set-up independent India’s first news agency, The Press Trust of India in 1949.
Press Information Bureau (1919)
- It is the nodal agency of Government of India.
- The current director general is Sitanshu Ranjan kar.
- Its headquarter is in National Media Centre, New Delhi.
Free Press of India (1920)
- It was an Indian Nationalist supporting News Agency founded in the 1920 Swaminathan Sadanand.
- It was first news agency managed by Indians.
- The free press journal is an Indian English language daily newspaper that was established in 1930 by Swaminathan Sadanand who also acted as its first editor.
United Press of India (1933)
- It was established in 1933 by Bidhu Bhushan Sengupta.
- After resigning from free press of India, Sengupta started United press of India with Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy as the chairman of the board of directors of the agency.
- Due to financial constraints, the agency collapsed in 1958.
Press Trust of India (1949)
- Largest news agency in India.
- Headquarter- PTI Building, Parliament Street
- PTI is the only news agency in south Asia which operates its own communication news and information.
- Kasturi Srinivasan was associated with this news agency.
United News of India
- Established in 1961.
- Headquarter- News Delhi
- UNI is the first news agency to place its stringers in remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- The Hindi language service ‘UNIVARTA’ was launched in 1982.
Indo-Asian News Service (IANS)
- IANS is a Private Indian news agency established in 1986.
- Founded by Indian American Publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service initially.
- It was later renamed the Indo-Asian news service.
- Main office- New Delhi