Associated Press

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Template:Infobox Co-operative The Associated Press, or AP, is an American news agency, the world's largest such organization. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers and radio and TV stations in the United States, who both contribute stories to it and use material written by its staffers. Many newspapers and broadcasters outside the United States are AP subscribers — that is, they pay a fee to use AP material but are not members of the cooperative.

As of 2005, AP's news is used by 1,700 newspapers, in addition to 5,000 television and radio outlets. Its photo library consists of more than 10 million images. The AP has 242 bureaus and serves 121 countries, with a diverse international staff drawing from all over the world. The AP Stylebook has become the de facto standard for newswriting in the United States.

The collapse of United Press International as a major competitor, AP's traditional rival, has left it as the only nationally oriented news service based in the United States. The other rival English-language news services, such as Reuters and the English language service of Agence France Presse, are based outside the United States.

The AP has a straightforward, "just-the-facts" writing style, often using the inverted pyramid style of writing so that stories can be edited to fit available space in a newspaper without losing the essence of the story. The explosion of media and news outlets with the arrival of the Internet has made such concise writing less necessary, and raised the need for more feature-style writing.

It has also posed a threat to AP's financial structure. On April 18, 2005, at its annual meeting, AP announced that as of 2006 it would, for the first time, begin charging separate fees for posting articles and pictures online. News outlets that buy AP's news, sports, business and entertainment coverage have previously been allowed to place the material online at no extra cost. The cooperative later backed down from the plan and, in a bid to reach more readers, launched asap, a service aimed at 18–34-year-olds.

U.S. employees, except for a small group classified as "administrative," are represented by the News Media Guild and the Communication Workers of America.



AP was formed in May 1846<ref>AP Is Older Than Was Thought, Papers Show, Associated Press, January 31 2006</ref> by representatives of five competitive New York City newspapers, who wanted to pool resources to collect news from Europe. This became the Harbor News Association. After the Civil War, the owners of these newspapers realized that they, through their newspapers, were all essentially paying for the same information from their reporters. (Reporters covering the battle sites of the Civil War used the telegraph to send in their reports). The owners of the newspapers realized that it would be cheaper to have a service collect and pay for the information once from the telegraph company. At this time, the Harbor News Association became the Associated Press. The driving force in its formation was Moses Yale Beach, publisher of the New York Sun, when he invited the other New York publishers to join the Sun in a cooperative venture in covering the Mexican-American War. The five New York papers joined in the agreement were the Sun, the Journal of Commerce, the Courier and Enquirer, the Herald, and the Express. Until the advent of the Industrial Revolution and the Penny Press, newspapers competed by sending reporters out in rowboats to meet the ships as they arrived in the harbor. In 1849 the Harbor News Association opened the first bureau outside the U.S., in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to meet ships from Europe before they docked in New York.

  • 1861: Facing censorship in covering the American Civil War, reporters first filed under the anonymous byline "from the Associated Press agent."
  • 1876: Mark Kellogg, a stringer, becomes the first AP correspondent to die in the line of duty, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. His final dispatch: "I go with Custer and will be at the death."
  • 1893: Melville E. Stone becomes the general manager of the reorganized A.P., a post he retains until 1921. Under his leadership, the A.P. becomes one of the world's most prominent news agencies.
  • 1899: AP uses Guglielmo Marconi's wireless telegraph to cover the America's Cup yacht race off Sandy Hook, New Jersey, the first news test of the new telegraph.
  • 1914: AP introduces the Teletype, which transmitted directly to printers over telegraph wires. Eventually a worldwide network of 60-word-per-minute Teletypes is built up.
  • 1935: AP starts WirePhoto, the world's first wire service for photographs. The first photo to transfer over the wires was of a plane crash in Morehouseville, N.Y., on Jan. 1, 1935.
  • 1938: AP shifts into 50 Rockefeller Plaza (known as "50 Rock") in the newly built Rockefeller Center, which would remain its headquarters for 68 years; in 2004 it shifted to expanded offices at 450 W. 33rd St.
  • 1941: AP expands from print into radio.
  • 1994: AP launches APTV, a global video newsgathering agency, headquartered in London.

AP Sports Polls

File:The associated press building in new york city.jpg
The Associated Press Building in New York City. The AP left this building in 2004.

The Associated Press is also known for putting together Associated Press (AP) Polls on numerous college sports in the United States. The AP Poll ranking the top-25 NCAA Division I-A college football and Division I men's and women's college basketball teams are the most well known. The polls are made by collecting top-25 votes of numerous designated sports journalists and then compiled at the AP office. The AP Poll in college football was particularly notable because it helped determine the ranking of teams at the end of the year for the Bowl Championship Series until the AP, citing conflict of interest, asked for the AP Poll to be removed from the Bowl Championship Series. In the 2005 season, the Harris Interactive College Football Poll took its place in the formula. The AP Poll is the longest serving college football poll, having started in 1936.

Cooperative Use of News

As part of their agreements with the Associated Press, most newspapers grant automatic permission for the Associated Press to distribute their local news reports. For example, on page two of every edition of the Washington Post, the masthead includes the announcement, "The Associated Press is entitled exclusively to use for republication of all news dispaches credited to it or not otherwise credited in this paper and all local news of spontaneous origin published herein."

Associated Press Television News

In 1994 London based Associated Press Television (APTV) was started to provide agency news material to television news broadcasters. Other providers of such material were Reuters Television and Worldwide Television News (WTN).

In 1998 APTV left the Associated Press building in the City of London and merged with WTN to create Associated Press Television News in the existing WTN building in North London.

Current events

Guantánamo Bay detainees

The Associated Press made available for download the unclassified portions of the dossiers of 59 Guantánamo Bay detainees, which they acquired through Freedom of Information Act requests.

In 2005, AP requested that the Department of Defense provide transcripts and related documents from the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs). The Department of Defense released redacted versions of the transcripts and related documents, claiming that the release of the detainees' names and other identifying information in unredacted versions would violate their privacy (as protected by Exemption 6 to the Freedom of Information Act). The Department of Defense never claimed that the release of unredacted versions would compromise national security. In 2005, U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff ordered the Department of Defense to ask each detainee for permission for their names to be released, and on January 24, 2006, Rakoff ruled in favor of the Associated Press, finding that the Department of Defense had failed to offer adequate evidence to support their claims and that the detainees' had no reasonable expectation of privacy under the order, and therefore ordered the Department of Defense to release the unredacted transcripts and related documents.<ref>Judge Orders Release of Gitmo Detainee IDs, Washington Post, January 24 2006</ref> Documents of only 317 of the 490 detainees were released on March 3, 2006. Although justice Rakoff had already dismissed this argument, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman justified withholding the names out of a concern for the detainees' privacy. [1] [2]

Jamil Hussein controversy

Some Associated Press reporters have been accused by bloggers of using fake sources, in particular a purported police captain Jamil Hussein, for their reporting of sectarian violence in Iraq. The Associated Press stood by its reporting, and on January 4, 2007 the Iraqi Interior Ministry recognized Jamil as an active member of the Baghdad police force, and said he now faces arrest for talking to journalists. Ministry spokesman Abdul-Karim Khalaf, who had previously denied the existence of Hussein, acknowledged that the officer was assigned to the Khadra police station.<ref>"Iraq threatens arrest of police officer" AP, 04 January 2007</ref>. Despite this, a number of right-wing bloggers argued that the controversy did not end with the proof of Hussein's existence, but raised deeper questions about the work of The Associated Press in Iraq.


The Associated Press is governed by an elected board of directors.

  • Burl Osborne, Chairman, Publisher Emeritus, The Dallas Morning News
  • Tom Curley, President & CEO
  • R. Jack Fishman, Publisher and Editor, Citizen Tribune, Morristown, Tennessee
  • Dennis J. FitzSimons, Chairman President and CEO, Tribune Company, Chicago
  • Joe Hladky, President and Publisher,The Gazette Co., Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Walter E. Hussman Jr., Publisher, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Julie Inskeep, Publisher, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • George B. Irish, President, Hearst Newspapers, New York, New York
  • Boisfeuillet (Bo) Jones, Publisher and CEO, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
  • Mary Junck, President and CEO, Lee Enterprises, Davenport, Iowa
  • David Lord, President, Pioneer Newspapers, Seattle, Washington
  • Kenneth W. Lowe, President and CEO, E.W. Scripps Company, Cincinnati
  • Douglas H. McCorkindale, Chairman, Gannett, McLean, Virginia
  • R. John Mitchell, Publisher, Rutland Herald, Rutland, Vermont
  • Steven O. Newhouse, Chairman, Advance Publications|Advance.Net, New York, New York
  • Gary Pruitt, Chairman, President and CEO, The McClatchy Company, Sacramento, California
  • Michael E. Reed, CEO, Liberty Group Publishing, Inc., Downers Grove, Illinois
  • Bruce T. Reese, President and CEO, Bonneville International, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Jon Rust, Publisher, Southeast Missourian, Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • William Dean Singleton, Vice Chairman and CEO, MediaNews Group, Denver, Colorado
  • Jay R. Smith, President, Cox Newspapers, Atlanta, Georgia
  • David Westin, President, ABC News, New York, New York
  • H. Graham Woodlief, President, Publishing Division, Media General, Richmond, Virginia [3]

Web resource

The AP's multi-topic structure has lent itself well to web portals, such as Yahoo, Google, MyWay, etc, which all have news pages which constantly need to be updated. Often, such portals will rely on AP and other news services as their first source for news coverage of breaking news items. Yahoo's "Top News" page gives the AP top visibility out of any news outlet. This has been of major impact to the AP's public image and role, as it gives new credence to the AP's continual mission of having staff for covering every area of news fully and promptly.

See also


  1. a b c Consolidated Financial Statements, The Associated Press and Subsidiaries: Years ended December 31, 2005 and 2004. Associated Press (2006-03-07). Retrieved on 2006-10-13.]
  2. AP Is Older Than Was Thought, Papers Show, Associated Press, January 31, 2006
  3. Judge Orders Release of Gitmo Detainee IDs, Washington Post, January 24, 2006
  4. "Iraq threatens arrest of police officer" AP, 04 January 2007

External links

Original Source

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