Biggest News Agencies the AP or Associated Press Part 2

About one of the biggest news organizations the AP or Associated Press, history of the agency and its modus operandi, how it operates.



Name of Agency and Country: Associated Press, U.S.

In the 1890s, an Illinois court decided that the Illinois AP's corporate charter was so written that it could be considered a public utility, compelled to offer membership privileges to all. (It was not until 1945 that the U.S. Supreme Court voided a clause in the AP constitution that had made it possible for member papers to blackball applications from rivals in the same city.) To circumvent the Illinois court decision, the AP was dissolved and was reincorporated as a new nonprofit membership association in New York. That 612-member group was the official beginning of the Associated Press of today.

Modus Operandi: The Associated Press remains a cooperative, with more than 1,300 domestic newspaper members, all of which have voting privileges. Radio and television stations which subscribe--some 3,600--do not have voting rights, possibly an indirect result of the AP's early reluctance to enter radio. It finally got around to that in 1940, five years after the UPI. Worldwide, over 10,000 newspapers and radio and television stations in more than 100 countries receive AP news and photographs every day. In the U.S. there are 40 AP bureaus, mostly in large cities, and 66 correspondencies. In addition, the AP maintains 60 foreign offices. However, in July, 1976, members of 58 developing nations, resenting what they felt was Western domination of world news, met in New Delhi, India, and made plans to start their own news agency pool, which will probably lessen the foreign influence of the AP.

What began back in the 1800s as a simple system to share telegraph costs has become a highly sophisticated communications network with more than 400,000 mi. of leased wire circuits in the U.S. alone; globe-circling radio, teletype, and underwater cables; and satellite transmission of news and pictures. The yearly AP budget is close to $100 million.

The Associated Press is run by a board of directors and a central staff of administrative officers, general executives, news executives, and bureau chiefs, based in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza. Once strictly a news-gathering organization, the AP has branched out into investigative reporting and offers by-lined columns and features in science, religion, photography, drama, food, aviation, and other subjects.

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